Obviously, the Chuck writers read my review of the premiere because they very much took into account what I thought was wrong with the Buy More plot from episode one. Wait, the episodes were written like four months ago, you say? Oh. Well regardless, “Bearded Bandit” really made use of the B plot in that Carmichael Industries needed some advertising and so did the Buy More; I’m glad that “LeJudkins” (the writing duo that wrote this episode and ones that have become fan favorites, like “Honeymooners”) realized this and implemented it in a nice way.
What could have used a bit better implementation, however, was the execution of Morgan becoming “dark”… like Bizarro Superman, or perhaps we should just call this side of him Bearded Bandit. Instead of coming off as villainous, he instead came off as just a bit annoying and even delusional — yes, even for Chuck. Could he truly believe that he and Intersect-less Chuck could handle an entire building of bad guys? And why wouldn’t he stop screaming that he was the Intersect? Perhaps whatever is wrong with Morgan’s download isn’t making him villainous, just bratty. That said, I think the way the show hinted at Morgan changing was done quite well and, in some ways, because of that brattiness, I didn’t see the twist ending coming. Though, I can see how many might think it was too quick of a change for him, even after Chuck confirmed that someday he will be out in the field and everything seemed settled.
And thankfully, Chuck’s handler relationship with Morgan allowed for a just the right amount of insecure Chuck, who was intent on keeping Morgan safe but a bit miffed at perhaps being played by Casey and, more importantly, Sarah. (That last scene in the park with Chuck and Sarah was nicely done, too.) But Chuck still held his own by punching the convenience store thief and shooting a tranq gun perfectly, even though he didn’t exactly save the day then.
Speaking of which, Gertrude Verbanski truly paid off during two scenes: (1) when she and Sarah first speak alone and (2) when she saves Chuck and Morgan and almost trips while walking passed “John.” Stern, yet malleable. I very much look forward to how that storyline develops, especially if it gives us more hilarious and — okay, I’m just going to say it — basically adorable scenes where Casey hones his call to Verbanski and even then decides to hang up. Or scenes in which Casey says stuff along the lines of, “You ever have sex with someone who’s just tried to kill you? It’s incredible.”
This episode was basically the better complement to the premiere and truly set up where the season is going and I actually find it better than the search for mom at this very point.
- “Zooms” is going to be a running gag. Love it.
- “Are you a cop?” “No, I’m the bearded bandit.” “Oh! Here! Take it all!!!”
- Casey shooting those metal sticks into the mountain Sarah was climbing seriously would not have entered straight that way. I can usually suspend belief, but come on.
- I seriously don’t get the Morgansect hate. But now that I think of it, how cool would a Bizarro Chuck have been? Quite. Have they done that before and I’m just forgetting?
- I really enjoy information flashes — ahem, zooms — more than the fighting stuff. Glad that was in there.