Chuck: Season 2 - Chuck Versus The Third Dimension
Review by Jack Foley
INDIELONDON singles out notable episodes from current television series for stand-alone reviews. On this occasion we take a look at the latest episode of Chuck: Season 2 entitled Chuck Versus The Third Dimension (as aired on Vigin1 on Tuesday, August 25, 2009).
What’s the story? Chuck (Zachary Levi) has to protect rock star Tyler Martin (Dominic Monaghan), while Morgan (Joshua Gomez) wins two backstage passes to Martin’s concert, so he needs to decide who will become his “plus one”. This is a special 3D episode.
Was it any good? What better way to start a 3D episode than having Chuck’s ‘girlfriend’ and protector Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski) cavort semi-naked – or at least in sexy black lingerie – over a bed, luring Chuck to the night of his life?
Alas, the dream sequence turned into a nightmare for poor Chuck, who is still coming to terms with having watched Sarah shoot an enemy spy in apparently cold blood. Never mind, she was actually protecting him (see previous episode, Chuck Versus Santa Claus).
Chuck, however, continues to go from strength to strength as a series. Having neatly (or expertly) side-stepped the temptation to come over all sentimental for its Christmas episode, Chuck then pushed the boundaries of what’s possible on TV with this 3D one-off.
It worked without feeling too gimmicky, thanks largely to the typically winning performances of its regular cast members and a lively guest slot from former Lost regular Dominic Monaghan.
What’s more, the writers didn’t skimp on the storyline to make way for the 3D. Rather, it was business as usual, mixing high thrills with laugh out loud comedy and a fair smattering of emotion to boot.
Chuck, still hurt from the previous week’s emotional rollercoaster, confronted Sarah about her apparently cold-blooded act, and even rebelled slightly by taking Tyler Martin out for a night on the town.
Needless to say, that almost ended in disaster with Tyler seduced by two sexy – but very bad – rival agents, and Chuck hanging perilously close to death from a building.
But come the episode finale, Tyler had learned an invaluable – if brief – lesson about acting selflessly (agreeing to serve as bait for Chuck and company to lure out an assassin), while Chuck himself had learned the value of being part of a team.
The 3D, meanwhile, provided plenty of neat sight gags courtesy of the well-staged and imaginative set pieces, as well as some nice extra moments of Buy More fun.
If you haven’t caught on to the Chuck series as yet, then maybe now’s the time. It is, quite simply, one of the best programmes on TV at the moment – consistently amusing, equally exciting and good ‘ol sexy fun. It’s even daring enough to try out new formats, which – as ever – it did triumphantly.
What did you think?