“It’s times like these I wish I still had the Intersect,” Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi) not so glibly remarks in the opening scene of “Chuck Versus The Zoom,” Chuck’s fifth and final season on NBC– a scene that sees Chuck, Casey (Adam Baldwin), and Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) staring down multiple gun barrels, on the edge of a mansion on a cliff’s balcony.
See, times may be good for Chuck personally, having married his long-time lady love Sarah and creating Carmichael Industries in the season four finale, but on a professional level it’s a little bit dicey now that they are independent spies for hire. Oh yeah, and you know, Morgan (Joshua Gomez) is the one with the Intersect in his head. You can hear Casey’s grunt right about now, can’t you?
But fans of the series will be doing anything but grunting. The role reversal for Chuck and Morgan breathes a new energy into a show that had yet to grow stale even in the first place. Chuck is like a proud papa watching his pal Morgan embrace the spy life. For Chuck, and the audience by extension, watching Morgan psych himself up to take down bad guys or “zoom” on key images or phrases is like watching a young boy figure out how to navigate life on his own for the first time. But instead of tying shoes or learning to read, Morgan does martial arts and recovers stolen property for new clients. As much as you’re happy to see him finally venturing out on his own, a little part of you– just like a little part of Chuck himself– can’t help but want to steer him back to the old way of doing things. It’s with what we’ve all grown so comfortable, after all, and it’s easy to think we know best after all of this time. Chuck may now technically be Morgan’s boss, as well as the first Intersect, but his new journey now will be to let Morgan fly on his own in a handful of ways.
And in many ways now Levi gets to embrace the comedic relief side to the show, while Gomez saves the day. There are certainly moments when this means Chuck questions his place in the group, let alone in the world, now that he is not the super spy. But don’t feel too bad for him just yet: he has a plan to be the super husband.
Toes in the sand, guys. T.I.T.S. Just wait; we’re sure NBC will put that on a tee-shirt any day now…
See Chuck thinks Sarah’s dream home is on the beach, and he sneaks around behind her back to try to find her the perfect place. (Editor’s note: We knew we liked them!) He may have some more time on his hands now, sitting on the sidelines, and at times in the getaway van, as his friends and colleagues do the heavy lifting. But that doesn’t mean he can pull something over her eyes for too long.
Chuck is very much the brains behind the operation now, utilizing his time out of the spotlight (and line of fire) to construct carefully laid-out plans that still manage to seem a little bit crazy. We wouldn’t expect anything less, right?
In “Chuck Versus The Zoom,” said operation is to infiltrate an important party of one Mr. Roger Bale (guest star Craig Kilborn) to gain access to his financials and take down a wealthy thief (guest star Mark Hamill). “Chuck Versus The Zoom” takes Chuck fans back to basics. Without the power of the Intersect in his head, Chuck is the underdog again but also for the first real time, the “every man” hero (step aside, John McClane!). As Morgan adjusts to his newfound power and responsibility, we may find that now more than ever Chuck is needed– his expertise, experience, and special skills developed over years of CIA training are needed. He may not have the flashy computer in his head or the adrenaline rush of being on the front lines anymore, but he is still the key. He will always be the key.
Chuck premieres on October 28th a 8pm on NBC.
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