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Published on April 12th, 2011 | by Melody Simpson


Chuck Episode 4.20 Review: A Mediocre Episode, But Linda Hamilton Prevails

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Avatar and Game of Thrones references included, last night’s Chuck was quite entertaining.

Confirming that Vivian (Lauren Cohan) was not a killer proved to be quite a challenge for Chuck (Zachary Levi) after getting played by Alexei Volkoff (Timothy Dalton). The decisions that General Beckman (Bonita Friedericy) and those above her have been making regarding the team’s cases has been highly questionable this season. The entire team thought so this week when Beckham released Volkoff from being imprisoned for the case at hand. What a brilliant decision that turned out to be. After Chuck’s life was almost gambled upon a game of UNO (classic moment for the writers), Volkoff turned on Vivian, and Vivian worked with him only to play him as well…that left only one winner tonight…Vivian. Now that there is no doubt of Vivian’s ability to kill and with the knowledge of her now going after Agent X, expectations are high for the showdown in the last few episodes of the season. Though the writers have been more heavy on the dramatics than the comedic elements this season, so hopefully there is a more even balance before the season’s end.

With Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) discovering more and more from her father’s laptop and becoming a spy in her own right, it’s about time the family secret be completely exposed to the only family member who is clueless. Watching Ellie lie to Chuck about her findings hurt more than words can explain. Now is not the right time to lose trust in Chuck or her mother. Curiosity killed the cat so it would be an unforgiveable act for Chuck and Mary (Linda Hamilton) not to fill Ellie in on their job descriptions before a moment comes when their jobs put her in danger.

chuckNow the episode may have been titled, “Chuck vs. the Family Volkoff,” but there were more plot points to be shared. Instead of catching all of the odd activities taking place at Buy More, Chuck was surprised with pre-nup papers to sign and Casey (Adam Baldwin) continued to repair his relationship with his daughter, Alex (Mekenna Melvin). The pre-nup story line was very clever indeed. A moment like this was important to share since it is after all one of the few incredibly significant moments in the preparation for marriage. But that wasn’t what made this moment worth sharing. Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) never did see Chuck’s initial reaction to the pre-nup papers. What she saw caused her to fish for Chuck’s feelings and thoughts on the matter. Usually, Chuck is the one fishing feelings out of Sarah, so seeing these habits reversed was entertaining. Moments when Sarah is flustered and curious about someone’s thoughts are few and far between, so this was something to savor. Chuck’s own unique version of a pre-nup was sweet too, though Sarah does need to have more faith in Chuck understanding the relationship that she has with her father.

Speaking of father-daughter relationships, Casey seems to be repairing his with Alex. Hopefully, it continues to grow even after the two reveal to Casey’s ex and Alex’s mother that he is still alive. The dynamic between Casey and his daughter has been set, but once Alex’s mother comes into the picture, who knows which way she will sway. Waiting for such emotional moments like this to unfold make the drama on this show so significant for a show that usually seems like a one hour spy comedy…which isn’t a bad thing!

However and perhaps because of the lack of comedic genius that Chuck usually showcases, “Chuck vs. the Family Volkoff” was not exactly a stand out episode. Still, Linda Hamilton is always a joy to watch on screen and if you’re not bored with the Volkoff story line, Timothy Dalton was also a pleasant treat this week. “Chuck vs. the Family Volkoff” did provide a smooth set up to the final episodes of the season and that is worth watching.

Watch Chuck Mondays at 8/7c on NBC.

*Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/NBC

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