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Chuck: Season 3 - First episode reviewed

Chuck: Season 3

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

What’s the story? With the upgraded Intersect, Chuck (Zachary Levi) wants to become a real spy, but he fails his training, so he is fired instead. Chuck needs to find a way back into spy business.

Was it any good? Hell yes. It’s good to have Chuck back on Virgin 1, albeit on Monday nights and clashing with Glee!

Having been upgraded to know kung fu, Chuck’s third season promised to take us into an interesting new direction as the once bumbling computer technician assumed previously unknown levels of capability.

Alas, that proved something of a false dawn. Yes, Chuck knows kung-fu. But he also has emotional problems that prevent him “flashing” and tapping into his vast spy database.

Hence, as Chuck Versus the Pink Slip Cast List picked up, Chuck found himself fired from the government and forced to mull over the events of the previous three months, which also saw him scuppering the chance to run away with Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski) in favour of furthering his spy training.

In doing so, Chuck also lost his job at the Buy-More, while best friend Morgan (Joshua Gomez) had also sought pastures new as a Hawaii-based chef.

By the end of the episode, however, Chuck had conspired to reunite Team Bartowski by proving his worth as the upgraded Intersect, as well as recovered both his and Morgan’s jobs at the Buy-More.

En route, there was plenty to enjoy… not least in Chuck’s impromptu Mariachi impression, or the sight of Strahovski’s impossibly hot Agent Walker emerging from a swimming pool in a dripping white bikini (but I digress!).

There were also pop culture references in the form of Chuck’s Big Lebowski moment on the sofa (complete with soundtrack check), and a couple more opportunities to see Chuck’s new athletic ability put into play.

As ever, the mix of action, sex appeal and quick-witted banter proved a winning combination, while the new possibilities offered by the story developments promise some interesting new character developments.

It does, however, remain to be seen how the writers overcome the age-old problem of keeping Chuck and Sarah apart, while fanning the flames of their attraction towards each other. Or how Chuck will combine his trademark awkwardness with a new harder edge.

But the signs are encouraging, even if Chuck Versus the Pink Slip Cast List – as a whole – couldn’t quite measure up to the very best that this series has to offer.

We’re all signed up for the long haul, though…