We now begin catching up with one of our favorite series, Chuck!
At least one thing that is certain, although in this, the last season of Chuck (barring a miracle), this reviewer can honestly report that everyone associated with Chuck, including all the creators, the cast and veteran crews have not lost the recipe for just plain good ole’ fun in television viewing!
But I am getting ahead of myself. Let us first take a look at a wonderful fan made video that we believe sums up the adoration for Chuck that fans have developed since the series was originally created. We share this with you as a result of catching a tweet from Mekenna Mevin about the nice video by KrisWatchesOn Thanks Ms Melvin!
After you enjoy the video below, we will step back a bit and examine in detail the fun in season five’s third episode “Chuck Versus the Frosted Tips”!
Chuck Versus the Frosted Tips:
In Chuck Versus the Frosted Tips, we learn of several past Chuck series secrets as they affect each of the characters. Foremost is Morgan (Joshua Gomez) who appears to have become satiated with power and is suspected on turning on Chuck his life long pal! All this as a result of Morgan acquiring the “Intersect” from Chuck’s (Zachary Levi).
Meanwhile Colonel Casey (Adam Baldwin) deals with Gertrude Verbanski (Carrie Anne Moss). We have learned that one of his deepest secrets is an unrequited love for Gertrude! Based on the coming interaction can we assume that the reciprocal is true?
We open the episode observing Colonel Casey moving towards his target around with Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) at his side. Casey is close to bagging his target: The lovely and evil Gertrude ruthless competitor to Team Chuck!
Under urging and with Sarah’s guidance, Casey has concocted a meeting with Gertrude in the hopes of establishing a rapport with his old flame. Gertrude provides Casey with an enticing opportunity, but our hero Casey “drops the ball” instead shaking her hand like the gentleman that we all know that he truly is.
I do not know about you folks, but my analysis is that the tough exterior we always see on Colonel Casey character is a well oiled veneer covering another secret from the enigmatic military officers career!
I am convinced that there is a romantic in there somewhere, and although Casey lost his romantic nerve, he slyly plants an electronic device on Gertrude to track her, keeping the critical nature of the actual secret mission foremost in his thoughts. As a result, Casey’s romance will just have to simmer a bit!
Next is a return of one of my favorite characters, General Beckman portrayed by Bonita Friedericy. Chuck and Morgan are waiting sit in a parking structure per previous instructions to meet with the General herself!
A black ops type vehicle arrives. General Beckman gets out and shares with Chuck she wants his new company to capture a whistle blower named Mats Zorn, a troublemaker has been leaking confidential government secrets. She intimates that a large reward will be in the works for a successful mission.
General Beckman is observed giving Chuck a USB portable flash drive. She states that the drive contains Zorn’s travel plans so that he can be tracked down. Beckman “orders” Chuck to stop Zorn at all costs.
Chuck accepts the secret mission and with good reason. Like you, we all hope that one day Chuck will be re-instated and funded once again by the CIA for more secret missions. Perhaps as a Chuck movie? As these thoughts cross our minds, Morgan has an outburst spouting “Hey Becky!” apparently unable to contain himself.
As we the audience has suspected previously, something is wrong with the new Intersect in Morgan’s brain. While two plus two clearly equals four to this reviewer, the thought is apparently only a passing thought to Chuck and Beckman.
We segue to the Buy More in Burbank where we observe Chuck dropping off Morgan at the store. Unaware at this point of the consequences, and what is happening in Morgan’s head, Chuck heads towards home.
Upon arrival at the apartment complex, Chuck encounters Colonel Casey’s daughter Alex (Mekenna Melvin). She is waiting for Morgan for a romantic date. Chuck displays some confusion when informing Alex that he just dropped Morgan at the Buy More store. Alex is obviously upset that Morgan forgot their date
In the next sequence shot in Colonel Casey’s apartment, Chuck and Sarah are going over the mission details. We see that Casey is using the electronic device mentioned earlier to clandestinely observe Gertrude Verbanski. Chuck and Sarah poke fun at Casey about his infatuation and his clumsy tactics with Gertrude.
The situation turns deadly serious when Casey’s electronic camera device reveals that Gertrude has recruited a new operative for her organization. I must confess I did not see this plot twist coming and was shocked to learn the new recruit is none other than Morgan Grimes himself! Talk about a turn for the worse!
I know it is only a television show, but nonetheless, Chuck is indeed a very lucky man and Sarah is a lucky woman.The two to have fallen in love with each other (finally for goodness sakes) is what fans “shipped” for years!
The romantic moment fades as we see Chuck sitting at the dining room table obviously very upset and with good cause. His longtime best friend and often a PITA (Pain In The Arse), Morgan has seemingly turned traitor! Like any good spouse, Sarah does everything in her power to comfort her beloved Chuck.
We then see Chuck heading in to work at the Buy More. He knows that life must (and business) go on despite his heart being broken by the turncoat Morgan. It was at this point in the episode that I figured out that Morgan was being manipulated by something or someone.
I mean come on people, Morgan turning against his life-long buddy! It is impossible that this is solely Morgan’s fault!
Suddenly my thoughts on the “Frosted Tips” and Morgan being an innocent victim were interrupted when Chuck and the entire Buy More staff are flabbergasted as a cool looking vehicle arrived at the front door of the Buy More. I asked myself who in the heck could this be?
Now I know that some people love to figure out the plot lines before they happen in a movie, book or television program, I am not one of those people. Having been an actor in a past life, I prefer to put such thoughts out of my mind. Instead I use a technique I learned as a stage actor who knew every scene and every line in a play, I employ the willing suspension of disbelief. I find it to be the best way to enjoy an entertainment presentation.
We next witness the reason the episode was named “Versus The Frosted Tips”. Morgan removes the riding helmet to reveal that his hair has been “frosted”! I suspected that Gertrude has something to do with Morgan’s new look and was eager to find out what is going on. Obviously very pleased with himself, Morgan saunters over to Chuck and submits his resignation from the organization! OMG! What the heck can possibly happen next?
The scene shifts to the Buy More office where Casey and Sarah are talking to Morgan. They argue that if Morgan goes through with his resignation, he cannot come back to the organization.
Morgan’s attitude is flippant. From his demeanor we learn that he does not care about the Buy More or much of anything else any longer. Casey then informs Morgan that he will not allow a traitor to have a relationship with his daughter.
In a somewhat more than comedic sequence paying homage to a recent series of similar cell phone television commercials, Morgan receives a text message from Alex. She misses him! Instead Morgan transmits a text message to Alex informing her that he has broken up with her!
The humor is accentuated with the fact that this is more real life than any of us would like to admit! People hiding behind electronic devices via social media rather than reveal who they are and their real selves.
It is here at this point in the story arc we get confirmation that something is very wrong with Morgan. Alex has been his dream girl. Morgan had worked hard at gaining her trust. For him to act like nothing, including Alex, are important, we know that Morgan’s memories must have been distorted and warped.
I do not care what anyone says, Adam Baldwin is a wonderful actor. He is capable of projecting many persona as we have had the pleasure of learning about in Chuck, Stargate, Firefly and Serenity to name but a few of his accomplishments.
In the meantime, the light bulb goes off in Chuck and Sarah’s mind. They know this is not the real Morgan Grimes. As the episode continues, Chuck and Sarah begin to develop a plan to help Morgan return to his old self.
Colonel Casey puts two and two together and snarls “The bearded bastard stole our mission,” Team Chuck “saddles up” loading weapons as Chuck wants revenge and plans to take out Gertrude Verbanski, the primary competition to Buy More.
Meanwhile at Ellie and Awesome’s house, a big day is underway. Ellie’s returning to work at the hospital. Captain Awesome will be a full-time dad for a while. In a separate arc within the story we see Awesome (Ryan McPartlin) and Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) in several tender moments with their new little baby. During these sequences we can clearly see that while Ellie is ecstatic as a mother, Awesome is not entirely excited about his new life style as a father.
He heads out with the little bundle in the baby carriage. Where can he be heading? Our question is answered when we see “Dad” Devon (aka Awesome) entering the Buy More parking lot with his baby in a carriage. Awesome enters the store baby in tow only to find Jeffster (Scott Krinsky) under a smoking vehicle Buy More stereo installation area working on beloved van, in fact his home.
Jeffster’s good friend Lester (Vik Sahay) is close at hand. Both ignore Devon when he expresses concern over their own lifestyle. The look on Devon’s face led me to believe that that he was thinking about things in his life and how lucky he was compared to these two individuals. Later in the episode we will earn that Jeff is going to turn over a new lease in his life.
If only people in real life would learn to “turn over a new lease in life”, count their blessings like Devon and Jeff. Instead we often see a fair amount taking part in criminal activities, sex crimes of abuse against children, cyber-bullying, and attacking others as the emotional outlet for the mistakes they made in their own lives, often destroying their families and communities in the process seeking selfish fulfillment at the expense of others.
From this pleasant visage of Devon contemplating the good things in his life, we quickly segue to Colonel Casey, Chuck and Sarah. They have successfully penetrated Gertrude Verbanski’s headquarters overpowering the guards and procuring their uniforms as a disguise to complete their mission.
Still a dangerous spy in his own right, Chuck gains access to the complexes camera system. Using this knowledge, Chuck guides Casey to Gertrude’s office so he can confront her, stop her dastardly plot and save Morgan.
Casey finds Gertrude’s safe, enters the code and obtains the USB thumb drive with the secret data on it. Just as he is about to leave, Chuck and Sarah warn him that Gertrude and Morgan are in route to the office. Casey quickly hides in the background behind a façade in the office.
Morgan finishes talking to Gertrude. Under her direction Morgan heads off for combat training in the compound. We see a number of super Intersect powers as Morgan literally kicks the butt of all comers!
At this point in the Chuck saga, I found myself yearning for Morgan to be healed, to retain the “Intersect” and that at the same time, that Chuck would have the “Intersect” restored. The thought of a “Dynamic Duo”, Morgan and Chuck both super powered appealed to me. Did you feel the same way?
We move back to Gertrude’s office. She has a look around, but senses that something is awry. Like so many great Chuck episodes, the choreographed fight scenes are great! We are not disappointed when Casey and Gertrude enjoy some passionate “bonding” in well staged hand to hand combat! Some good ole’ fashioned butt kicking takes place to this reviewers delight!
While all of this is seemingly not enough action, we find Chuck outside in the combat training area still in disguise. Morgan himself is kicking some butt as the new fight training leader using the power of the Intersect. Morgan quickly dispatches all but one of the guards there for training.
We are not surprised that the last man standing is Chuck. Morgan had been unaware of his presence since all the guards were had been wearing headgear. Chuck pulls off his mask and requests that Morgan to return the missing USB thumb drive. He alsoi ask Morgan to return to the Buy More family and work for him again. Morgan affliction and memory manipulation is clearly apparent. He rudely informs Chuck they were never really and are certainly not now friends!
I for one was worried that Casey would weaken in his school boy love for Gertrude and fail to subdue her. In a climactic moment (no not that kind!), Casey fights Gertrude back against her office desk. We are led to believe that the romance may win the day disarming Casey.
Chuck always the dedicated protagonist, not only wants to complete his mission, he needs and wants his friend Morgan back the way that he was. The bitter words from Organ “We are not friends” ring in Chuck head. Chuck cannot let this stand!
Colonel Casey appears in the training area after his escape from the facility with the USB thumb drive in his possession. Somehow Gertrude has escaped as we hear her order Morgan to re-capture the secret data. Casey, no longer a fan of Morgan for the way he treated his daughter gives Morgan a dirty look.
Morgan obviously still “under the influence” of a warped Intersect obeys Gertrude’s order and prepares to use his power to subdue his former friends. Armed for the occasion with tranquilizer guns, Sarah and Casey try to knock him out.
Intersect powered Morgan quickly avoids each dart using a technique similar to “bullet time” as wonderfully and originally employed by the VFX teams in the Matrix trilogy of films. An obvious homage to Carrie Anne Moss, the scene is quite fun to observe.
Then using an adolescent prank, Chuck sneaks up on Morgan and quickly pulls Morgan’s pants off! Morgan retorts to Chuck. “Really, you’re gonna do that?”. The timing is perfect. With Morgan distracted, a tranquilizer dart hits home into Morgan’s backside dropping him on the spot.
Having escaped from Gertrude’s headquarters, we are back at the Buy More in the Castle. Chuck and Colonel Casey and are studying the secret data and learn where their target Mats Zorn will be.
Using a handy helicopter already prepped for their mission (of course), we are taken to the rendezvous location on the roof of a building where Mats Zorn is to be found. We find that Chuck, Sarah and Casey are outfitted as pilots and a flight attendant. Their plan is to arrest Zorn before Morgan and Gertrude are able by impersonating the other flight crew.
I must say that Yvonne Strahovski looked absolutely delightful in this attire. Heck, Yvonne looks great in ANY attire and so does Carrie-Anne Moss for that matter! To be fair, I am sure the ladies loved seeing Chuck and Colonel Casey in uniform too! Kudos as always to the Chuck team in general and the costume department in specific!
As alluded to previously, the two competing teams, Team Chuck and Team Gertrude/Morgan have employed the same exact plan! As the target (Zorn) arrives, Team Chuck and Team Gertrude/Morgan fire on Zorn’s security detachment.
In a moment of two people trying to buy the same thing at a department store sale, Sarah and Gertrude both attempt arresting Zorn. In the confusion of a live firefight and cat fight, Zorn attempts to make good his getaway.
We then observe Chuck as he confronts Morgan using old memories to shake him out of the brainwashing that he has been subjected to. Chuck has figured out that he can successfully fix Morgan’s memory if he uses very old times they shared from their earliest teenage years. To the delight of this reviewer, Morgan responds to the inputs jogging his memory, and poof, Morgan is restored back to his former annoying self much to Chuck’s (and the reviewers) delight!
As the episode winds to a conclusion secret target Zorn surrenders, but have you forgotten the leaking gasoline from the ruptured fuel tank? Sure enough the gas tank ignites hurling Gertrude and Morgan in the process. Our heroes Chuck and Casey brave the fire rescuing both of them seconds before the helicopter explodes with spectacular pyrotechnics.
I chuckled when I suspected that Colonel Casey may have had a motive. Yep you guessed it! “Tough Girl” Gertrude expresses her gratitude to Colonel thanks Casey with a prolonged and well deserved smooch kiss!
Now that the two lovers have finally admitted to their relationship, a little practice at the local firing range with Gertrude is certainly in order! As Sarah is seen with an approving grin, Casey is locked in the horns of a dilemma over what gun from his armory that he will take to impress Gertrude on his date!
Of course I laughed that the two erstwhile lovers have a “date’ at a target range! The real question we all wonder is whether (and when) Casey and Gertrude will actually consummate their relationship?
In the final moments Devon examines Morgan. Morgan will need a brain specialist to get everything fixed from the warped Intersect that had caused so much trouble. I for one was hopeful Morgan would somehow get to keep his Intersect as mentioned above. However this is not to be.
I was hoping that some of that softer side of Casey would occur. No dice! Casey instead hands Morgan his Star Wars blanket and slams the door in his face. Awwww! Poor Morgan! No Alex and no place to live. Morgan goes to see his other two friends Chuck and Sarah, who tell him he can stay there until things settle down.
We end the episode when Chuck receives a call. It is General Beckman. She tells Chuck to meet her clandestinely and immediately! We are shocked to learn that as Beckman fills Chuck in that the CIA has a kill order out on Morgan! Chuck immediately calls his buddy but he is in the shower and misses the call.
The very last sequence is a view from under a vehicle as someone plants a bomb underneath Morgan’s vehicle. The final frames are those of Morgan as he exits the house and heads towards his sled. One can only hope that this will not be the end of Morgan!
This reviewer liked the overall arc of the story, and the smooth work of the well oiled cast and crew of Chuck. I also enjoyed Carrie-Anne Moss guest starring as Gertrude and am looking forward to her future episodes in season five of Chuck!
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Kenn of #TeamWHR