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ANNOUNCEMENT: The Chuck's Stable of Hos has moved!

The Chuck's Stable of Hos has expanded and migrated to a new site. You can still read CSoHos posts as well as listen to podcasts in our new home:


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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Midterm" - Chuck vs. the Final Exam Podcast

We know this is a little late but nonetheless here is our "Final Exam" podcast.  Enjoy!

Itunes Download Link: Here

Podcast Alley Link to Listen, Download, and Vote: Here


Stay tuned for our "American Hero" podcast and the 3rd Edition of Iron Chuck!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chuck vs. the American Hero: Thoughts from a Ho


Overall, what a great episode.  “American Hero” had everything from comedy to romance to suspense and did a spectacular job balancing and meshing those aspects into top-notch entertainment. 

Instead here are some of my thoughts on the episode. Next week look for a larger, longer character and storyline analysis and thought summary of how Season 3, Part I played out.

-          The opening scene with Chuck in Beckman’s office was the perfect example of Chuck done right.  I enjoy when the show makes light of the government or serious issues, and this scene did not disappoint.  Beckman’s office was depicted as ordinary and casual, like your run-of-the-mill business full of secretaries and cubicles rather than a place concerned National Security.  I’m also a big fan of the Beckman and Chuck interactions as she does put up with Chuck’s “process” as she called it.  I find it refreshing to see an “outsider” of Team B interact with Chuck and how the outsider reacts to his ways, and who doesn’t like Chuck’s awkwardness in the presence of the General?

-       The combination of Morgan, Devon and Casey was absolutely fantastic. I sincerely hope this isn’t the last time we see these three joining up.  I want to be in that freakish bubble of handsomeness and don’t worry Morgan; I put you in that bubble too.  Honestly when most of the leading men band together, what’s not to like?

-       Jeffster.  Need I say more?  When Jeffster stalks I’m guaranteed to love it.  “Both men are physically fit, should be lively,” another great line from Jeff.  The show knows how to use these two well and they often seem to steal an episode even when they aren’t the main story.
I see you...
-       Shaw:  Did anyone else want to play the Darth Vader “NOOOOOOOO” when Shaw found out?  No, just me?  Anyway I liked this reveal a lot (I have to say I called it) and very happy the show did something like it.  I’m not going to go in-depth about Shaw as we still have one more episode. But to sum up, it is safe to say I liked the idea of Shaw but for whatever reason it just didn’t play out very well.  More to come on that next week.

-       In the final scene before Sarah was about to leave her apartment, you see her toss the gun on the bed.  It was a bit of a metaphor for her trying to leave her spy life behind but we all know it just never works that easily.

-       Chuck and Sarah:  In the beginning of the episode Sarah states plain and simple why she doesn’t want to be with him: he isn’t the guy she fell for.  Part of me wanted to scream out “hypocrite” since she not only kills people but in “Third Dimension” I feel like she sort of expected Chuck simply to move on from the Mauser incident.  In the end Sarah chose Chuck without knowing that he didn’t shoot the mark.  Finally it seems that Chuck and Sarah are on the same page.  Hooray! Chuck repeating, the phrase “I love you” to Sarah and just to say it out loud worked perfectly.   Yes it seems like he flip-flops every other episode on whether he wants to be a spy, be with Sarah or both.  I’m choosing to believe that Chuck wanted to runaway not to shrink away from his responsibilities but because he gets what Sarah was trying to tell him in the very first episode of this season; nothing else matters.

-       Best line: “I love you Sarah Walker.  Always have.”  I mean COME ON, nothing else was close to this line.  I don’t know how Sarah didn’t run off with him right then and there . It was the sweetest moment and made my heart melt. 

-       Runner up: “You are a Bartowski Chuck, start acting like one.”  This surprising line from Ellie was perfect as it reflects how I felt.  I thought Ellie was well used in this episode and, although she didn’t have many lines, she summed it all up when she did.

Some questions prior to the finale:

-       What does Sarah shooting Eve mean?  Was Eve a double agent and if not, why was she ordered to be killed?

-       Which path will Shaw choose?  He can either go the crazy path or realize no one is at fault and surrender his revenge. 

-       Will Casey continue to be a civilian or will we see him reinstated by the finale?

-       Can we see the budget cuts?  In a review by Alan Sepinwall* he suggests that the show is on a smaller scale due to the cuts and we are seeing the effects.  In “Colonel” we had a big explosion and the fight scenes were bigger and grander.  Although there have been some decent fight scenes this season, they seem few and far between.  Fulcrum seemed more fearsome than the Ring and perhaps this is part of the reason why.  Even the Ring leader, and yes I’m calling him that because the Ring seems like a circus, didn’t seem fearsome enough (though I do love Mark Sheppard from BSG – though I miss the shades). 
*If you haven’t read the review I highly recommend you do so.  I think he brings up excellent points and says things better than I ever could.  http://sepinwall.blogspot.com

- So what did you all think of the episode?
 
Rules of commenting:
1. Be Nice! (though I can take the heat)
2. No crashing through restaurant glass windows.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chuck vs. the Final Exam: Thoughts from a Ho



One word that comes to mind after this episode is whew! 

This episode was intense on so many levels and again major themes came into play.  First off, I really enjoyed the episode.  I mean Zac, our pimp, was in a towel for a good chunk of time and may I say he looked damn good.  Also when an episode evokes an emotional response in me (other than screaming “WHYYYYYYY??” at Shaw) I feel like the show has done its job.  That being said this episode wasn’t perfect so before I get lost thinking about Zac’s steamy scene again let’s get down to business.

In this episode roles are reversed, parallels are drawn, and choices are made.  The two biggest parallels in this episode were with “Santa Claus,” more specifically the Mauser situation, and “Sizzling Shrimp,” which was referenced in the episode itself.  The comparison to the “Sizzling Shrimp” was perfect in my opinion as we get a homage to the first season and we see how far Chuck has come from his “stay in the car” days.  This also sheds light as to why Sarah has been so uneasy.  Chuck isn’t that na├»ve guy who orders take-out at a stake out (no rhyme intended). Rather he’s a spy who has pushed the limits to get the job done.  Chuck is put in Sarah’s shoes as he hunts down his mark, a scene quite reminiscent of Sarah’s scene with Mauser.  However in the end it is Casey who pulls the trigger as it has been established many times before that Chuck is not a killer. 

I’m happy Chuck didn’t shoot the guy because Chuck is still that guy I want him to be.  I like goofy, confident Chuck versus the over confident spy Chuck (Mr. I have champagne in my spy/picnic/date kit).  More specifically, I like when Chuck realizes the dangers and consequences of being a spy rather than thinking it is all fun and games (“I have to kill him” vs. Mr. Italian accent).  Kudos for Zac for the many sides of Chuck, both the humorous and the emotional scenes. 

The best performance in this episode clearly goes to Yvonne; she was off the charts.  No joke, that girl can act!  Her scenes and story line in this episode took the episode from good to great.  She perfectly conveyed what Sarah was going through in this episode.  As each day passes and Chuck becomes closer to become that spy he was “meant” to be, Sarah realizes her Chuck is slipping further away.  She voiced several times how scared she is for who Chuck is becoming and she has been vocal about him losing the good guy he was.  In this episode we got a “Mauser” scene reversed; instead of Chuck being horrified, it is Sarah who cannot believe what just happened.  Her reaction is legitimate, she doesn’t know it was Casey who pulled the trigger. To me (yes I know people disagree) her response to witnessing this was as well as her complex emotions leading up to it were very well done. 

Sarah had an uneasiness throughout the episode of someone who knows the clock is running out (in regards to Chuck being the guy/spy she doesn’t want him to be). and isn’t sure yet how they are going to react once that timer is up.  When Sarah sees Chuck with the gun, there is a huge mix of sadness, disappoint, and guilt.   In that last scene with Shaw, you see Sarah acting similar to the way she did when Bryce died.  You see the grief and guilt but it is quickly shoved aside as she renounces her love for Chuck.   The one guy who had revitalized her faith in life beyond the spy world turned around to prove her wrong. 

On a lighter note, Lester and Jeff paired with Casey is quite a winning combo.  I was very pleasantly surprised and happy that Lester was given so much dialogue in this episode.  I admit, I sort of love Lester so I have really no complaints here.  Also props to Adam Baldwin, he was very funny. I’d watch a show about the adventures of Casey in civilian life; you know you would too.

Now, unfortunately, it is time to get critical and if this were “American Idol” perhaps the booing would start.  The problem with this episode, it all felt a little redundant.  We have seen the ultimatums* before, those final tests, the choices between spy and the girl, etc.  Yes it is presented differently but I feel like this scenario could, and has in some respects, have happened weeks earlier.  We get their feelings, their concerns, and the situation (we learned that from the start). I am not saying I haven’t enjoyed the build up but this definitely seems like a longer path.  I know that we are nearing the first finale so the “one step forward, two steps back” bit will end. But is it ending a little too late?  At times, I’ve wanted to smack both Chuck and Sarah for being so clueless and dense.  Do they ever learn?  I at least have comfort of being able to say I’ve really enjoyed this long path (minus a few aspects), sorry for those that don’t.

*The ultimatums don’t really make sense to me, as Chuck is still the Intersect.  Also he still seems to be the only one so them saying they’d just let him walk seems like an empty threat especially now that he’s shown he can work it.

Some final thoughts:
  • The music was amazing in this episode.  The selections for the “Union Station” scenes were fantastic.  Expect them on my iPod soon.
  • It is as if the show finally remembered it is has a female fan base.  Sure we see shirtless Awesome a lot but ever since that shower scene (and if you don’t know what I’m talking about then we have issues) we’ve be clamoring for more Chuck.  Well ladies, payoff is sweet.  The towel even dropped!  Unfortunately this isn’t HBO… one day though…
  • Sarah’s Red Test:  Major props for the flashback.  I love learning about Sarah’s back story and this was a pleasant surprise.  It was very well done and I’m never one to complain when Sarah wants to share.  I have a feeling what we saw in Sarah’s first kill was important and will come back later.  I do have some theories about it but to be fair to those of you who avoid speculation I’ll refrain.  If you want to talk about it though, you know how to reach me. 
  • Will we see the effects of Casey being the one that pulled the trigger?  I assume it will come out with respect to Chuck not having killed anyone yet (not counting “The Morgan”) but will this factor in with how Casey gets his license to kill back?
  • The Union Station dinner was a very interesting scene.  Although Sarah initially refusing to participate in what she considers Chuck’s potential ultimate downfall reminded me of the end of “First Kill.”  Sarah once again obeys orders to do something she wants nothing to do with and yet this time the scenario ends so differently.   Sarah reminds Chuck that there is nothing wrong with just being him but admits that if he isn’t a spy they most likely wouldn’t be together.  Now I don’t know pretend to know what is being conveyed here.  Perhaps she says there is no chance because she is still hurt, but my guess is that Sarah just doesn’t know what she wants.   I’m a firm believer right now that Sarah knows she loves Chuck but not much beyond and definitely doesn’t know what to do with the knowledge.  I also to choose to view as Sarah being not with Chuck rather than being with Shaw because really Shaw is juts sort of there and a means to an end, which brings me to…
  • What is the purpose of Shaw?  No, this is a serious question.  I don’t even have a problem with the fact that Sarah is “dating” him.  My issue is that he is boring.  When Shaw first came on the scene I liked him a lot.  I thought he pushed the team into not babying Chuck and gave Chuck much needed support in becoming a spy.  However, that aspect was over by “First Class” so I’m left with the question, why is he still here?  He doesn’t seem to do anything that another member of the team couldn’t do.  Yes, it could be argued that he keeps the team in check and emotions out of the decisions but we’ve only really seen that once.  More so, he isn’t needed for the Chuck and Sarah story line.  Whereas Hannah provided a reality check for Chuck, Sarah’s realizations haven’t come from Shaw.  Sure he has been around when they happen, but usually those moments are sparked by something else.  I think I’m hoping there is more to the story or else I’ll be disappointed.  I have theories; we’ll see if they pan out.
    • Also Brandon Routh can’t show emotion.  Is this not the exact same face I posted in an earlier review? 
  • If Casey dies from a disease I am so blaming Jeff!
  • Best Line: Casey writing on his hand “I am going to kill you!!!” It wasn’t even technically a spoken line; that is how good it was. 
  • Runner-up: “Scantron!” said in a singsong voice.  Not that we didn’t know this before but Chuck is nerd.  I love it when he shows his dorky side!


“The Final Exam” was not an easy episode to watch at times.  It is hard seeing these types of scenes play out because you just want the characters you love to be happy.  Yes this episode was dramatic but it was done with a sense of purpose.  A change is coming and something has got to give.  Alright, I’ve shared my thoughts, now it is your turn.  What did you think of the episode?  Do you want to applaud with what I’ve said or do you just want to bash me for my ignorance?  Feel free to do both.

Rules of commenting:
1. Be Nice! (though I can take the heat)
2. No eating each other’s subs :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

SPOILER Watch: Say What!?

SPOILER Watch!

As evident by the title I’m going to discuss and theorize about recent spoilers.  If you are avoiding spoilers, spoiler free, or just hate theorizing then stop reading.  If you want to hear a Ho’s thoughts on some recent teases and reveals then read on…

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Iron Chuck 2nd Edition - The DeMorgan vs Tiger Cake



Two brave souls have finally taken the Iron Chuck challenge! Team The DeMorgan (Amy and Art, the Challengers) battled against Team Tiger Cake (Sam and Jordan, the Hos) on Saturday.

This edition of Iron Chuck was pretty exciting, and the results were quite unexpected. The winners were behind by 8 points going into the third round, but they were able to gain the lead on the last round and beat the other team.

The winners scored a total of 21 points while the defeated team scored a total of 20 points. Who won? Scroll down to the bottom of this page to find out.

Click here to listen to the Iron Chuck 2nd edition podcast.

If you think you're Chuck enough to take the Iron Chuck challenge or you just want to have a Chuck load of fun, shoot as an email at csohos@gmail.com or DM us in twitter (@CSoHos). Actual Iron Chuck dog tags (yes, not just virtual dog tags) would be awarded to the winners.

EASY
1.What is Lester’s last name?
Patel
2.In what episode does Chuck give Sarah the charm bracelet that his dad gave to his mom when Ellie was born?
Santa Claus
3.Name two businesses that are in the same shopping courtyard as the Buy More.
Underpants, Etc., Mighty Jocks, Large Mart, Orange Orange, Sbarros
4.In the Chuck opening credits, who is shown after Zachary Levi?
Yvonne Strahovski
5.What was Chuck studying at Stanford as in, what was his major?
Electrical Engineering
6.What is the name of the actor that plays the character of General Beckman?
Bonita Friedericy
7.Jeff’s dad used to throw these type of fruits at him.
Pineapples
8.In what episode does Jeff attempt to eat 90 twinkies in 3 minutes? (45 bags of twinkies in 3 minutes)
Chuck vs. the First Date
9.In Chuck vs. the Pink Slip, Chuck was being trained to become Intersect 2.0. In what city was the training facility?
Prague (Czech Rep)
10.In Chuck vs. the Ring, Chuck gives Casey a hug and announces, “See? Guys can hug.” What does Casey say after Chuck says this?
"Not if they don’t have their man parts.”

MEDIUM
1.From Season 1, what book did Chuck still have from the Stanford library?
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
2.Name make/model and color of Sarah’s car when she was a high school student in San Diego, CA.
Yellow Volkswagen Rabbit
3.In Chuck vs. the Delorean, Jack Burton gave both Chuck and Casey nicknames. What were his nicknames for Chuck and Casey?
Chuck: Schnook Casey: Copface
4.Name three directors that have worked on Chuck.
McG, Robert Duncan McNeill, Jason Ensler, Allan Kroeker, David Solomon, Patrick Norris, Allison Liddi, Chris Fisher, Norman Buckley, Jay Chandrasekhar, Jeffrey Hunt, Jonas Pate, Ken Whittingham, Peter Lauer, Jeremiah Chechik, Kevin Bray…
5.In the opening scene of Chuck vs. the First Kill, we see Chuck at the Nerd Herd desk pondering about the fate of his father in the hands of Ted Roark. We then see Sarah walking up to him holding a cup of Orange Orange’s latest froyo flavor. Name the flavor.
Obama Guava
6.In what episode does Chuck tell Casey to “Unleash the Casey”?
Chuck vs. the Gravitron
7.In season 1, Sarah gave Chuck a fake picture of the both of them at Comic Con. In what episode does she give the picture and who were they dressed as?
Chuck vs. the Sandworm; Han Solo and Princess Leia
8.Name the people that were at the dinner table at the of end of Chuck vs. Operation Awesome
Chuck, Sarah, Morgan, Awesome, Ellie, Casey

HARD
1.In the pilot, Chuck receives an email from his old college roommate, Bryce Larkin. In order to receive the message, Chuck had to respond by typing what was in his “hero’s satchel” from the text-based video game, Zork . What did Chuck write as an answer to “the terrible troll raises his sword”?
Attack troll with nasty knife
2.Brandon Routh aka Daniel Shaw has been signed on to appear on a few episodes this season. Not counting this Monday’s upcoming episode (Chuck vs. the Final Exam), name all the episodes that he has appeared in thus far.
Operation Awesome, First Class, Mask, Fake Name, Beard
3.In Chuck vs. the Sandworm, which wire does Chuck cut to deactivate the bomb? Give the color.
Green
4.In Chuck vs. the Delorean, we see a glimpse of the hotel that Sarah stays at. What is the name of her hotel?
Maison 23
5.In Chuck vs. the Gravitron, what message appeared on Jill’s phone that led Chuck to flash and find out that she was with Fulcrum?
“Have you heard from Uncle Tobias?” –Mom
6.In Nacho Sampler, Morgan talks to Jeff and Lester about laying off Hannah because he likes her. They both agree but under certain conditions. What was Jeff’s condition and what was Lester’s?
Jeff’s conditions: He sleeps over with Morgan and Chuck twice a week
Lester: next hire, he wants Morgan to find him a wife, a woman of color, preferably Padma Lakshmi






Congratulations to the winners of Iron Chuck 2nd Edition: Team DeMorgan - Amy and Art. You guys made an amazing comeback and you truly deserve the title, Iron Chucks!

Friday, March 19, 2010

The WB Tour (Again!) - Chuck Deluxe

Alright I know we've already posted about the WB "Chuck" tour but two of your Hos, Ivy (FiliHOno) and I (Ho on a Leash) took the tour again. Here are some pictures from our second visit:

Zac's Nerd Herder

"Steering" Zac's cart

This was transformed into a restaurant for "Chuck." Hint: I think I'll order the nacho sampler.

Two of our favorite spies came out of these doors in last week's episode. Familiar?

Anyone recognize this from "Tic Tac," perhaps a certain visit from the gas company?

The same house... child support anyone?


Let's be honest... we all want this as our door. (This is the writer's house)

Recognize this lot? Neither did I. Try putting Christmas trees and playing "Silent Night" in the background and you might have a better idea of what was filmed here.
George Lopez's pimped out cart! He needs a Ho to ride with him (yeah I said it)

That's all I have for now. Sorry no pictures of the set, they don't allow it. I did however reenact a "Fountain" scene with Ivy, and yes it was magical. I seriously recommend the tour for any fan and if you have any questions we are happy to help.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"Crazy" -Our 5th episode of the Podcast


It's about that time again.

The CHUCK's Stable of Hos' Podcast.

Let me warn you, it's different. It's pretty funny though.

Check it out: LINK

Chuck vs. the Tic Tac Recap



If you're a listener of the podcast (and if you're reading the blog and this recap, I think that you are) you may have come to know me as the stickler ho. I've given the past few episodes the lowest score out of the 6 of us and while I'm not necessarily alone, I can be a bit hard on them.

Not this one, my friends.

Maybe it was the lack of exposure ahead of time, maybe it was just that I wanted something awesome to cling to, but this episode knocked the wind out of me and I've already watched it three times by now. It truly did have everything that I'd hoped for - action (holy mother of pearl), comedy, and while not heavy there was still a little romance. Not only that, but we had some amazing amazing set up and reveals as well. For me, this was one of the hands-down best episodes of the season.

The theme this week seemed to clearly be choices and their consequences. Casey made a choice between love and love of country, and the choice came back to haunt him once more. Even in a nice parallel with the B-story of Ellie and Devon, Ellie has to make a choice - her dream fellowship or Doctors without Borders with Devon. But I digress.

Let's take it back a little. In the "Fake Name" we were clued in to another persona of Casey's, Alex Coburn. At that point, we didn't know who he was, who he could've been, or what he was doing, but Casey clearly didn't want to talk about it. Now, as the episode opens, we're treated to a flashback, Casey-style, and introduced to Alex Coburn. A young, spry, Marine lieutenant who just wants to do good for his country. It's good, as I'm sure any Adam Baldwin fan would agree, as it gives us all something to chew on for our favorite NSA agent.

It is here we also meet Robert Patrick's Colonel James Keller, the big bad for the episode. Now, I've not seen anything else Patrick has been in (I know, start throwing stuff now) so I can't really comment on his talent, but I will say that I'd like to see some deleted scenes from this episode, if only to see why he was so underused. We could've gotten some great history from him, but it might've bogged down the episode and this one was a-racin'.

Colonel Keller is revealed to have been the voice on the other end of the Ring phone call that Casey got at the end of "The Beard." He's meeting with Casey to enlist him on a super secret side mission to go along with the team's upcoming "trace cell" mission. Team Bartowski is set to infiltrate a CIA controlled vault to test their security systems and Keller wants Casey to get something from that super secret vault and give it to him.

What is it that Colonel Keller wants? An experimental drug called Laudanol, developed to help soldiers repress emotions in the battlefield and fight without fear, making them stronger and faster. Hey now, they mentioned emotions! That seems to be a good buzzword for our boy Chuck here and you know that pill is going to come into play for him later on. Especially after he reverently observes, "I could work... perfectly."

The whole mission is cool, if only because I was excited to see not only the return of the Parkour flash but also the arrow from the Pilot (anyone else catch that? Just me? Oh okay) while Team Bartowski sneaks in through 15 levels of security to get to this super secret vault. Chuck spots Casey steal the pill and eventually, accidentally and in his very own Chuck way, outs him as the drug's thief to General Beckman (who I have also missed in some of the previous episodes). Beckman orders Sarah to relieve Casey of his weapon and he is arrested, taken to a cell back in that CIA facility they were already in. I knew there was a reason they learned about the place's security measures!

Through his own means (meaning he flashes on the guy) Chuck finds out that Colonel Keller is a member of the Ring and is playing Casey! He tells Sarah and they team up to break Casey out of his holding cell. While not nearly as cool as before, we did get some of the comedy here. I cracked up when a) Chuck flipped right into a plexiglass panel and b) we were "graced" by the presence of the engineer behind all the security measures. While he entered with a whole lot of bravado for yet another tech nerd, he lost it quickly when he revealed himself to be Chuck's biggest fan. Good move on the writers for bringing him in to inject a bit of lightness into the moment as he gleefully asked about the mission in season two when Chuck decided to kiss Casey to save him only to find out that was a stupid idea. I'd all but repressed that episode if only because of Jill.

The team successfully gets to Casey, only to realize that Keller is there as well. Chuck tells him he's a member of the Ring and Casey's only response is that he knows and goes off with Keller. Uh oh. That can't be good. As Chuck and Sarah are leaving, though, they're captured by a couple of Beckman's men, bringing them to Castle for her to order them to capture Casey, dead or alive. Uh oh. That's certainly not good. But through this Sarah realizes that the only reason Keller would still want Casey is if he doesn't have the pill. So if they can get to the pill before Keller can, they can save Casey and clear his name. Only Casey hid the pill in a place that he, now, can't get to. Enter Morgan's moment to shine. Or mess everything up, either way.

Casey enlists Morgan to get the pill from a DVD case in the Buy More, and Morgan - all eager to please and join in like a new puppy - excitedly does so. Until he's intercepted by Chuck. Chuck gets the pill from Morgan and returns to the apartment, only to find Casey waiting in the shadows. Here it is revealed that Casey is doing all of this... because The Ring has his long-lost fiance and they threatened to kill her if he didn't cooperate. Alex Coburn was engaged, once upon a time. Say it with me, awwwwwww. There's a touching team moment where Chuck and Sarah throw in their services to help get Kathleen, Casey's ex-fiance, safe and to keep Keller from getting what he wants. Chuck goes to Kathleen, while Sarah and Casey face Keller.

I've missed Sarah and Casey working together, and hadn't really realized how much until this episode. There was a very cool scene of Sarah revealing herself from beneath the car that Casey took to the meeting (he was told to come alone) and Casey leaving a hint for her as to who she's up against. We finally got to see Sarah win a fight this season! Sarah's kicking butt while Casey is inside, confronting his old commander. He tosses Keller the case that held the pill, only to have Keller open it and reveal... a Tic Tac. Of course, Ring agents don't like to be messed with and this lead to a right smackdown between Keller and Casey, ending with Casey snapping Keller's neck.

Meanwhile, Chuck is doing his darnedest to protect Kathleen, posing as a meter-reader for the gas company, only to have the bad guys arrive just as they're escaping. They go back into the house, Chuck shoves Kathleen into a closet and bolts the door with a chair, and proceeds to panically call Casey and Sarah. They, of course, tell him to flash and fend off the bad guys until they get there, but he's too freaked out. Casey tells him to take the pill... conveniently placed in the pocket of his shirt. After some hesitation (naturally - this is a prototype pill!) Chuck takes it and is immediately pistol whipped by one of the bad guys. But he flashes! He launches himself up, announces that he's not afraid of them, and proceeds to beat the mess out of each agent in the house. There is one pesky agent, that won't go down, and Chuck starts to strangle him (almost exactly like Casey had done to Keller), seemingly completely unaware of his actions. That is until Sarah comes in and yells at him to stop. He comes out of the flash-haze and drops the agent, staring at his hands in almost terrified awe.

Casey tends to Kathleen and tells her they've called the police. As the team settles and the police arrive, so does a teenage girl, running to her mom. Kathleen wearily tells her, Alex, that she's fine. Alex? Triple uh oh. Casey has a daughter! Another flashback reveals that Kathleen had some news to tell him when he returned from his last mission, before Keller hangs up the phone roughly and announces that Alex Coburn would die in battle that night and from then on, he would be John Casey.

The team returns to Castle with Casey, ready to face Beckman, but she gives a sentence neither of them expected. She gives Casey a second-second chance... as a civilian. He is stripped of his NSA job and Chuck is told to escort him off government property. While Sarah has a moment alone with Beckman, she brings up Sarah's request for a reassignment earlier in the season. There's an extra seat on her flight back to DC if she'd like to discuss it there? And the episode ends with Sarah in a cab in DC, saying she's thinking of moving there. Say it isn't so!! (We all know it's not, but it's a good ending).

With the spy A-story taking up much of the time this week, there wasn't a lot of time for a solid B and C story, but I think the inklings of what's to come for the Bartowski-Woodcombs is exciting. There were no Buy More hijinks, as it was Jeffster and Big Mike's turn to take a break in this episode and Morgan had fleeting but adorable appearances. But, as I said earlier, the parallel came through Ellie's choice between her dream fellowship and Doctors without Borders, the first thing Devon's been excited about in weeks. What do you think she'll choose?

Some other thoughts:
  • This episode did a very nice job of setting up what's to come, again, but I can't help feeling like I need a release of some sort. They've set up a couple things that could go some big places later on, but there's also the worry that they'll forget all about some things.
  • I think it was a big deal in revealing that Ellie's dream fellowship is in neurology. We all know that neurology is the study of brains, right? Curious, very curious.
  • The Laudanol pill. I thought that was a great, great plot device. It's effects on Chuck were very interesting indeed and I wouldn't be surprised if Beckman had ordered it to be developed for him as well as other soldiers. I would love to see it come back into play later on in the season, but I know it won't and that makes me sad.
  • Kathleen and her daughter or should I say Casey's daughter. Now that Casey is a civilian, do we think he's going to follow up on that? Doubtful. But it was still a nice little way to say that he loved, once. Even if that was the whole point of the "Undercover Lover" in season one. Eh. I'll take what I can get involving Casey at this point.
  • Another interesting thing to note: correlation between this week's episode's awesomeness and the lack of Shaw?

What did you guys think?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Zachary Levi shows the love...

Here is another video I have from the parade:

Zac being great to his fans.

Note: I have another video but it was taking wayyyy too long to update. It was a little speech Zac made about being back in Ventura and being selected as the Grand Marshall. It isnt anything too exciting but if enough people really want it

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Zachary Levi is our Unofficial Pimp!


So today was the Ventura St. Patrick's Day Parade and the Grand Marshall was none other than our favorite nerd, Zachary Levi. Zachary Levi led the parade and then returned to the panel of judges to help comment on and announce the participants of the parade. Afterwards he stayed around, like the amazing guy he is, to sign autographs and take pictures with the fans. Zac, you are our unofficial pimp for a reason.





Here is a video of Zac's reaction to wanting the poster signed to the "Chuck Stable of Hos"-

video
*Note: I don't think Zac necessarily remembered that the "Hos" bit was from the show. Hence the reaction.


For those of you who don't know, Zac grew up in Ventura and had come back for the parade to celebrate with his community. Ventura is a city that is right near the ocean and is just gorgeous. Here are some pictures from the event:


Some music... A giant pig...











Ohh...you wanted to see pictures of Zac at the parade. Sorry giant green pigs must be shown. Anyway here are pictures of our Unofficial Pimp:

Zac as the Grand Marshall. Nice sticker on the car as well if I do say so myself.


Zac annoucing the parade. Let me say, I'm very glad he was there as the other two guys were... special.

Zac on the panel.


<--- This was my makeshift "Chuck" sign at the parade. Compare it with this "Chuck" sign from another fan --->

Yeah... mine seems a little weak.





Zac signing to "Chuck's Stable of Hos"

Yes, he actually did it. (*Note: the poster says "We Heart Google" as it was made in attempts to get Google to pick the city for an Internet experiment. As you can see I used it for other means.)

Zac with me holding up my proud accomplishment.



All and all it was Chuck-filled weekend for me. I was lucky enough to meet Papa B on Friday night at the Paley Festival, and then Zac again at the parade. These actors do not have to stay and do these kinds of things for the fans, and yet they do. Both guys were super nice and unfortunately were mum on the Chuck front.


As a final note I want to say how nice and understanding Zac's family is about the fans wanting autographs and pictures. I'm sure it is a hassle and pain, and yet they don't complain when Zac waits around for his fans. This was just something I noticed and wanted to acknowledge.

Alright that is it for the parade! Hope you enjoyed it as I sure did!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

WonderCon

Chuck is heading to WonderCon! For those of you who don't know what that is, WonderCon is a convention that is subset of Comic-Con that focuses on primarily comic books and the sci-fi/fantasy genre. The convention also has panels and previews for various TV shows and movies that fall under this category.

This year WonderCon is April 2-4th and will be held at the Moscone Center South, San Francisco, California. The Chuck presentation will be Sunday April 4, 2:30-3:30 PM and include Zachary Levi, Adam Baldwin, Joshua Gomez as well as the series creators Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak. This even will include exclusive, never before seen footage as well as a Q&A panel.


Last year we got "The Morgan" so you can only imagine what fun will happen this year. For more information go to the WonderCon website and join Chuck fans in what will be a guaranteed amazing time.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"Victory" -Chuck vs. the Beard Podcast Episode


Put up your two fingers (to make a 'V' of course), and listen to our 4th episode.

There were no guest hos. Sorry. You'll just have to deal with us original ones.

Chuck vs. the Beard: Thoughts from a Ho

After an emotionally heavy episode last week, this week was the exact opposite. With Scott Rosenbaum’s last Chuck script (he moved onto V as showrunner) and Zac’s directorial debut (congrats!), we are finally given what some people have been clamoring for this whole season: a light hearted episode with laughs. That’s not to say there weren’t touching moments but overall “The Beard” can be described in one word: fun.

Before I go into detail, let me start off by saying I wasn’t all over this episode’s jock like some people were. It was solid but nothing was beyond amazing. Perhaps I prefer the emotional and relational aspects over the Buy More antics? Or perhaps there was just too much hype? For me there was nothing as epic as some of the scenes we saw in the final stretches of Season 2. (I mean that all-out gunfight scene in “First Kill” to “We're Not Gonna Take It” = E.P.I.C.) However, this was an all-around great episode but it doesn’t knock out my previous favorites.

The main focus of the show is Chuck’s secret with the most integral aspects as hiding it from those in his personal life. Throughout the series Chuck has tried to balance his two worlds. Often the success of one, usually the spy world, means disappointment in the other, such as not making dinners or trashing your BFF in front of a crowd. Since the end of Season 2 we have seen the two worlds colliding, to the happiness of some and the chagrin of others (can I get a grunt?).

In this episode the worlds mix even further when someone finds out Chuck’s secret. “The Beard” gives us what many have been waiting for: someone close to Chuck finding out his secret. Now before you get in a tizzy, yes I realize Awesome knows (I do watch the show) but I argue that his discovery wasn’t as big of a deal. One, it wasn’t marketed as such. I mean we ALL remember the promos for “Colonel,” and who didn’t watch them 3,000 times? Secondly, Devon isn’t as crucial to Chuck’s life as Morgan or Ellie. I mean sure he is important because he is with Ellie, but not on the same playing field as the other two.

Morgan being selected to finally be in on the secret made me very happy. Even though many of us knew it was coming (I knew for a while as Joshua Gomez hinted that this episode was his favorite for a reason), it did not take away from its greatness. The scenario happened exactly how I wanted it to and it was played perfectly by Joshua Gomez. Whereas Ellie would have possibly freaked out and felt betrayed, Morgan took the news as Charlie did when he discovered his Golden Ticket (sorry only analogy coming to me now— I think I want dessert). Morgan is the perfect guy to know Chuck’s secret as he can cover for Chuck way better than Awesome could and he actually knows him. The heart-to-heart was one of best parts of the episode (especially the “You never had sex!” Yes Morgan and that’d be your fault btw) and Morgan to me is the final key to Chuck’s integration of his spy self with his old self (and to getting Sarah back). One interesting point to be made is that Morgan actually knows that Chuck is the Intersect and not only a spy, the extent of Awesome’s knowledge. How this comes into play I don’t know but I will say this, Morgan can handle it.

Morgan rose to the occasion in this episode and as he said it was time to be a hero. I’m proud of our furry friend and amazed at his growth. Morgan is no longer the goofy, annoying friend of Chuck we knew in Season 1. His character has grown into someone we see as fiercely loyal and more of an equal in the Chuck/Morgan bromance. I’m not alone when I say that Morgan’s character has been top notch this season and I couldn’t be happier. Joshua Gomez also deserves major props for playing Morgan so well and so funny, especially in this episode. I mean even when in the background during Chuck and Shaw’s talk you could see him doing kung fu moves and push-ups against the wall. Don’t worry Morgan, I’m sure you’ll have your chance.

Besides Morgan discovering Chuck’s secret this episode contained another thing many have waiting a long time for: the return of Jeffster. Need I say more? Honestly? I’m fairly certain most people would be happy if they appeared every other episode but I’m fine with getting them as a treat every so often. The Buy More scenes were great and had laugh out loud lines. In general the Buy More-centric episode served to give relief from the darker storyline and the relationship drama.

Whereas the last episode was heavy with a few laughs, this episode was mostly laughs with a few emotional scenes. The beginning scene itself had an exchange between Chuck and Sarah in which she says “you can always talk to us,” AKA you can talk to me Chuck (and great expressions by Yvonne here, aces as usual). It is clear that Sarah is trying to reach out to him and I think misses what she and Chuck used to have. I have to ask after this scene, what are Chuck and Sarah? Are the friends, partners, complicated? I don’t know and honestly I don’t think they do either. They obviously still care for each other as both showed in this episode. I might be in the minority but I liked how the “give Chuck five more minutes,” played out. Yes I would have loved to see Sarah slap Shaw and do whatever needed to stop him, but this reminded me of Sarah’s reaction to thinking Chuck blew up in the car in “Best Friend.” Here you can imagine what her actions would be, but you don’t necessarily get to see them. In this case you as the viewer have to meet the writers halfway.

In sum, this episode was a great episode. It wasn’t perfect for me as I would have liked to see the consequences of “Fake Name” (I have a feeling they were just postponed), and although it was nice to have everyone in the episode, I felt that the Devon/Ellie storyline seemed a little weak. However, when you have that little to complain about you know something must be going right.

Some final thoughts:

  • I found I missed the quirky, bad guy character that we’ve seen all season long. Jethro (Diedrich Bader played him in “Beverly Hill Billies”) was no Vincent aka the Mummy or even our two lovable romance-talking gangsters.
  • Hero of the day: Yes, Casey is a badass. He even uttered the most Casey line in this episode (you know what it is) but I have to give the prize to Jeff. Yes, Jeff. He took a guy out with his chloroform, probably right after “getting right”.
Why the face?
  • This was the first episode I truly noticed Routh or Shaw’s lack of acting skills, and yes I know I’m late to the party. I mean the same tone was used for “you’re benched” as with “you need to think like a spy”. It was painful watching Pinocchio but he and Sarah make a beautiful couple, don’t they? (Sorry I couldn’t help myself. We all know Zac is hotter. I mean just look at him in that Ustream screenshot!)
  • As brought up by another ho, Zac was very generous in his direction of the Buy More revolt scenes. Instead of overall shots, Zac gave us personal shots, which highlighted all the Buy Morians – some of whom I didn't even recognized. Say what you will about Zac but that man is always the sweetest. He is our pimp for a reason.
  • Lester was gifted by the music deities themselves, I mean that boy can serenade me anytime he wants. Okay, I may be a little biased because I just love Vic but honestly his singing was better than some of the stuff I’ve watched on “Idol” this season (yes, I watch that show… no need to judge).
  • Are the Awesomes heading off to Africa? The show is either setting it up for Devon and Ellie to make an explained exit for a bit or setting up for something bigger. I suppose we just have to wait and see… ughh I hate waiting.
  • Who was Casey talking to at the end? Obviously it’s the Ring but who from Casey’s past would be associated with them? I mean the guy would rather hang out with the Buy More goons that be seen with a terrorist.
  • Shaw told the team that the Ring’s communications were down so none of their intel was given to the Ring’s leaders. However, we heard the bad guys say that the data was sent to headquarters so where does that leave us? Did Shaw just assume incorrectly or will this be something that comes into play later?
  • Best Line: “Bag 'em and tag 'em Sarah. Excuse me. Agent Walker." And then a wink! I love Morgan. Close 2nd: “Chan Min Chi, dammit!” – I mean the guy was quizzing himself with flashcards… and failing miserably. I laughed…

Once again I feel the slow build up with each new episode and though there have been tiny explosions along the way, you can bet each episode will get bigger than the previous one. I’m excited to have what seems to be the old Chuck back and the possibilities now that Morgan knows. Not going to lie, I’m sort of hoping for a Morgan and Sarah chat. Don’t know how likely it is but I want it. Next week it looks like we also get some action again (something else I’ve missed) and it seems finally that Sarah is once again is bagging and tagging ‘em rather than a passive bystander— a complaint I know many have had. It is safe to say we are entering the “full steam ahead” period similar to the last few episode of last season. It is also safe to say that if they are anything like those episodes we are in for a great ride.

What did you all think? Love it, hate it or in the middle?

-Emily







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