Monday, August 30, 2010

Chuck Versus the American Hero aka Chuck in Selfish World

Selfishness. The website defines it as:
1) concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others

This is the only theory I have for what happens on this week’s episode. Let me explain. On this episode of Chuck, all the characters act so bizarre, so irrational, so…well, selfish that this must be another one of those alternate dimension episodes.

Just like the Shmidel Shmastro episode that took place in the parallel dimension where the Unknowns were the stars, tonight’s episode can only exist in what I call the Selfish World. A dimension where one person’s own desires and wellbeing are all that matters. These people will forgo character development, storyline progressions, and even space, time, and common sense to get what they want. So now that I’ve pointed that out, let’s begin this week’s recap.

Previously on Chuck, he was given his “red test” – meaning he had to shoot a target dead. In this case, a CIA mole working for KAOS. When it came down to it, Hardass took the shot and told Chuck not to tell a soul. Not even Agent Cheesecake. With the mole dead, Chuck was made a real spy and put on a plane to Washington DC.

The show starts with Chuck inside Spy HQ in Washington DC. Selfishly, Chuck is telling himself he’s the best spy ever as he heads for the elevator. He stops for a second, realizing he’s been so self-absorbed, he forgot where to go to meet the Spy Boss. A big guy, looking like a nightclub bouncer, steps off the elevator.Chuck asks him where the Spy Boss’ office is, but the bouncer is only concerned about himself so he walks on. Chuck just shrugs and gets in the elevator.

The bouncer goes further down the hallway into a high-security autopsy room, which for some reason has windows on all sides like a hospital nursery. As he walks inside and starts looking around, a grumpy old lab worker tells him he needs to turn over some authorized papers to be in this room. As expected, the bouncer is actually an agent of KAOS, even though a KAOS agent running around THE headquarters for U.S. spies begs so many questions. He shoots the lab worker dead and stuffs her on a slab in the wall.

He finds the body of the Shlubby Sportscaster, who was the CIA mole, and waves a scanner over his body. The scanner beeps around the sportscaster’s mouth and the KAOS Bouncer fishes out what looks like a crusty Christmas light.He calls KAOS HQ and tells them he has the package.

Chuck finally arrives at the office of the Spy Boss, which has a waiting room full of officials and no less than three secretaries constantly answering phone calls.Chuck tries to strike up a conversation with the waiting group, but they all stay quiet – they’re too important to talk to lowly Chuck. Slightly discouraged, Chuck interrupts one of the secretaries, announcing that THE Chuck Chuckington is here to see the Spy Boss. The self-important secretary tells Chuck she knows who he is and the Spy Boss with see him when she’s ready.

Chuck sits down uncomfortably, soon realizing he left his gun from the red test tucked in the back of his pants. Assuming this is the exact non-tranq gun Chuck used, we’re supposed to believe he both smuggled it onto a commercial airline and into a high-level security facility. Whatever the case, he fumbles the gun like a bar of wet soap, until the Spy Boss meets him and tells him to put it away before he kills the entire waiting room.

In her office, Spy Boss tells Chuck his first mission has been assigned and he’s needed in Rome right away. Even though Chuck knew passing the red test would immediately launch him into a solo spy career, he stammers hesitantly about being directly sent out. Spy Boss lays out the details – he’ll pose as a wealthy American ex-patriot who made his fortune by bringing McCafes to his and other participating Roman McDonalds. The “fortune” part is to draw attention away from all the high-ranking federal associates Chuck will be dealing with.

She also adds, to help fill the role, Chuck will be given luxurious cars, clothes, and a mansion fit for a Columbian druglord. She also mentions he will receive the annual yearly salary fit for a McDonalds local manager. Realizing he’s being fitted for a very extended stay overseas, Chuck puts the breaks on, saying this is all happening too fast. Spy Boss asks what the hell he thought they were training him for over the past three years.

Selfishly, Chuck whines he’s comfortable with Team Chuck and the status quo of the show, and he’s not ready for a big change. Spy Boss rolls her eyes and asks what he thought the next step was after all his training was complete.Chuck says “sorry,” and Spy Boss slaps him upset the head, saying the only thing “sorry” is how he’s acting about getting a sweet-ass promotion and a one-way ticket off the show.

Begrudgingly, Spy Boss goes against her better selfish judgment and makes Chuck a deal. Take the weekend off and go anywhere, on the CIA’s dime, to get your head straight. After that, he is to report back to her next Monday to assemble his team. Chuck asks what she means by “team”? Even though she heavily implied he was going solo in Rome on the last episode, she points out he would have his pick of the CIA’s top agents to create his spy team in Rome. This sets off a huge light bulb over Chuck’s head.

Back in the waiting room, the secretary Chuck interrupted asks which luxurious location he wants to take off to. Chuck just suavely asks to go back to Chuck City because he’s gonna order up some Cheesecake.

Intro credits. Commercials.

All the way back in the Unknowns’ apartment, the Unknown Lady gets off the phone with the hospital where she works. She tells her husband that, inexplicably, they’ve granted her a year’s sabbatical to travel to Africa for the Doctors Without Borders program. Knowing there’s always a catch with his wife, he instinctively asks how Chuck fits into this. Surprisingly and selfishly, she says “screw Chuck.” She figures he’s moved with his life after taking her outstanding advice to dump Smallville. Not to mention, Unknown Lady believes Chuck was sent to Washington DC indefinitely to work with Big Lots Corporate, so now his job opportunities are endless.

The two Unknowns hug and Unknown Lady is especially ecstatic that there’s nothing keeping them from leaving the hellhole that is Chuck City. As she tells Unknown Guy this, he sees Chuck return home to his apartment. Unknown Guy looks puzzled, but quickly fakes a smile for his wife.

Inside his apartment, Chuck shows Seth, who’s actually in this episode, the flowers and chocolates he bought on the way home in hopes of winning back Cheesecake. He asks Seth if this is laying it on too thick. Seth doesn’t say a word, but Chuck assumes it is and throws the sweetheart stuff onto the floor.

Seth tells Chuck he can’t expect to buy back her love with crap. Chuck admits he knows this, but he just realized how much he loves her and only has a small window of opportunity before being shipped off to Rome. Seth asks what’s in Rome. Chuck explains his ass is going to Rome for a new assignment starting next week.

Squeezing his way in through the window, Unknown Guy tells Chuck he’s happy to hear that he’s leaving soon because the Unknown Lady won’t leave for Africa if Chuck’s still hanging around. Even though his wife just got done telling him to forget about Chuck since he’s out of their lives. Chuck selfishly says he’s not going anyway without his well-deserved Cheesecake. Unknown Guy announces it is now his selfish mission to get Chuck and Cheesecake back together, so he and his wife can leave Chuck City.

Hardass pops out of the shadows, surprising everyone, and says Chuck doesn’t stand a chance stealing Cheesecake away from Bad Superman. Since this is Selfish World, Bad Superman has amplified Cheesecake’s programming by 200%, guaranteeing she’ll never break his mind control. Chuck just scoffs and selfishly brags that he’s THE Chuck Chuckington, and for Hardass’ information, he coming with an invitation for her to join his team in Rome.

Hardass’ ears perk up. He asks if Chuck can even pick honorably-discharged alleged traitors of the government. Seth shuts him down saying Chuck will obviously pick his best friend, even though his spy activity barely even classifies him as a “consultant” and most likely Seth would just be thrown into federal containment, or worse, for knowing too much about the CIA’s practices. Chuck breaks up the discussion, saying first he’s going after Cheesecake and then he’ll talk about making bad decisions about his team.Hardass, Seth, and Unknown Guy come together and get pumped about helping Chuck to meet they own selfish needs – Hardass wants to leave Chuck City, Seth wants to visit Rome, and Unknown Guy just doesn’t want to hear his wife bitching about Chuck.

Chuck walks down into the spy basement to meet with Cheesecake. Unfortunately this week, since her Superman-influence is too strong, there’s no Cheesecake Moment of Chuck checking her out. He says he’s been trying to call her but has been getting no answer.Truly under the influence, Cheesecake is just robotically running around the spy basement, saying she couldn’t return his calls because Superman was in the room.

Chuck explains to her how the Spy Boss flew him to Washington DC and made him a real spy. Cheesecake just says “*beep boop* congratulations.” Chuck starts bragging about how THE Chuck Chuckington is so cool, in Rome he’ll have a mansion fit for Scarface and an entire McDonalds under his control. But most of all, he wants her to come to Rome with him as his top CIA pick. Cheesecake coldly says her destination is to accompany Bad Superman to Washington DC to start a dry-cleaning business.

Chuck begs her to reconsider, especially since he’s now an honest-to-goodness spy and there’s nothing to keep them apart job-wise. Cheesecake replies he is no longer the same Chuck she met those 2.863 years ago. Chuck asks when he changed. She says her image of him changed the day he shot the mole dead.

Cheesecake goes into Standby Mode while Chuck tenses up. He doesn’t snitch on Hardass, but promises to her it didn’t happen how she thought it did and she needs to believe him. Cheesecake responds his explanation is illogical, and she still doesn’t believe him. Bad Superman butts in, at first looking mad, but then he shakes Chuck’s hand and congratulates him on becoming an actual agent.Superman asks why Chuck is back in town. Chuck stammers a bit but, looking back at Cheesecake, he says he’s tying up some loose ends. Cheesecake’s true self peeks out as she covers for him, telling Superman he came back for tips about Rome. Chuck sneers at Cheesecake for dismissing him, but Superman also sneers that he shouldn’t have come for Cheesecake. But yet again, bipolar Bad Superman was just acting mad. He tells Chuck to talk to him instead of Cheesecake since he was stationed there for two years. Superman walks off with his arm around Chuck. Chuck looks back at Cheesecake, but she just keeps robotically walking into the wall, totally under Superman’s command.

After his apparent Roman discussion with Superman, Chuck walks into the Big Lots. Hardass runs up to him and asks if he talked to Cheesecake. He sadly says she’s too far under Superman’s control and she won’t even listen to him. A thought pops in Chuck’s head and he tells Hardass that Cheesecake has to know the truth about the mole if they’re ever going to get her to listen.

Hardass selfishly says there’s no way he’s going to turn himself in. He tells Chuck to just shut up and take credit for killing the mole already. Seth walks up and asks how things went with Cheesecake. Hardass says Chuck blew it. Reaching his breaking point of bad news, Chuck says his only option is to quit the spy biz. He leaves the store to try and figure out what to tell the Spy Boss. Seth yells at Hardass for being passive about this whole matter and decides to take some action.

He walks over to the service desk and finds TIG and Larry behind the counter. He starts to talk to them about Chuck and suddenly Larry rambles a complete recap of Chuck’s goal to get Cheesecake back. Amazed but a little creeped out, Seth asks how he knows this. TIG explains they have so little to do on the show, they just sneak around and make everybody else’s business their business. He also says they know all about Cheesecake and her new boyfriend, Bad Superman, and then asks Seth if he wants some more creepy recon on the guy.
Remembering the disturbing amount of literal garbage they dug up on Smallville, he passes, but instead asks to borrow something.

This turns out to be Larry’s 1980’s-quality van, which pulls up beside Chuck on his way to his car after closing.The side door slides opens and the Unknown Guy and Hardass pull him into the van. They tell him he’s got to get Cheesecake back for their own good. Unknown Guy hands him a suit and tells him to get dressed for his reservation, while Seth behind the wheel speeds off.

The van pulls up to a luxurious restaurant and everyone but Chuck pulls out binoculars to start spying. Bad Superman and Cheesecake, all dressed up, go into the restaurant for their dinner date. Seth is impressed by what a smooth operator Superman is, but Unknown Guy says not to worry since they have a plan.Little do they know, at the same time, the KAOS Bouncer and his goons are also spying on Superman and Cheesecake. He chuckles to his men that it’s going to be a short date.


After the break, the guys are still in the van. Chuck is now dressed in his suit, while Hardass, Seth, and the Unknown Guy continue to spy on the couple in the restaurant. Seth, who must be developing a guy-crush, mentions how Superman is smooth even while ordering. Chuck smacks him upside the head for rooting against him.

Inside the restaurant Superman apologizes for not taking Cheesecake out for a special date sooner. Totally under his control, she robotically says she understands and is having a wonderful time. Superman replies the evening is perfect, just like she is now. They toast to his outstanding mental programming.

In the Team Chuck van, somehow their binoculars are rigged with listening devices and they hear Superman selfishly say, just like everyone else, that he can’t wait to leave Chuck City. Having heard enough, Unknown Guy tells Hardass to go get him. Hardass reminds the guy, as a civilian, what he’s telling him to do is abduction which will land him straight in jail.

Hardass says it’s Chuck’s ballgame now. After arguing with Unknown Guy about pickup techniques, Seth reminds Chuck that all Bad Superman has going for him is mind control, because everybody watching can tell he and Cheesecake have absolutely no chemistry or a solid storyline link between them. But what Chuck does have is a fun personality and the charm to win Cheesecake over. Seth tells Chuck to get in there and go for it, meanwhile he’ll take care of Superman.

As Chuck walks up to the restaurant, with the KAOS agents watching everything, Bad Superman is drawn away from the table by a waiter with a phone call for him.This call turns out to be Seth pretending to be from KAOS with a voice modulator. Seth gets over-excited and walks out of the van while telling Superman to leave the restaurant and head for the alley. With Superman getting too far out of sight, the KAOS Bouncer turns on his magical Superman-phone-tapping-device and hears Seth posing as a KAOS boss. The bouncer looks puzzled.

With Bad Superman gone, Chuck walks up to Cheesecake at the table. She asks what he’s doing there. Chuck honestly says he’s there to get her back. Cheesecake says her response remains the same and going back to him is illogical.Chuck admits he’ll do anything to have her. She says one point of access is to answer her security question: who really killed the Shlubby Sportscaster? Still listening in through his binoculars, Hardass sneers, thinking Chuck will snitch. Honorably or still in fear for his life, Chuck keeps his promise to Hardass, just asking Cheesecake to let him have that one secret. Besides that, he promises not to keep any secrets from her.

Outside, Seth is still acting like an ass, leading Superman away from the restaurant. In their van, the KAOS goons peg Seth’s phone call and verify he’s not a real KAOS agent. The bouncer tells his guys to take out the imposter. By this time, Bad Superman has also tracked down Seth’s call by using his magical spy phone.He finds the prankster and jacks him up against a fence, asking him if he realizes how serious it is to pose as an international terrorist.

Back inside the restaurant, Chuck is making things a little clearer for Cheesecake. He says he understands she doesn’t think he’s the same guy she met in the first episode. He says it’s called character development and also the fault of this season wanting to go in an ill-advised serious direction. He admits there is one good thing to come out of this overarching wrong turn – it’s made him a real spy and now he can be with her. A glimmer of free will starts to sparkle in Cheesecake’s eyes.

Back in the alley, Seth sees how serious pranking a federal agent is as the bouncer’s two thugs come up to get him. He sees one of the thugs point a tazer, but Superman goes into action.He uses Seth as a shield, letting the tazer zap the crap out of him. Dropping the fried guy, Superman quickly beats up the thugs. With them knocked out, he realizes Cheesecake might be in danger and starts running back to her.

A barely coherent Seth calls back to the 80's van and Unknown Guy spots Superman running back to the restaurant. Thinking Superman took out Seth, Unknown Guy tells Hardass to stop him. For the millionth time, Hardass explains he’s a civilian and doing that would be assault. Unknown Guy says “screw it” and runs out to do it himself.

Right in front of the restaurant in plain sight, Superman is stopped by the KAOS Bouncer, who holds him up at gunpoint. Either selfishly trying to be a martyr or realizing he’s got a good handful of witnesses, Superman tells the bouncer to go on and kill him. The Bouncer admits he’s not really going to kill him, since the director of KAOS wants to meet with him.

Inside the restaurant, Chuck is about to pull out the big guns and tell Cheesecake “I love you,” when suddenly Unknown Guy tackles Superman, sending them both flying through the front window of the restaurant and crashing into Cheesecake’s table.Laying in a pile of broken table and glass, Superman snarks at Unknown Guy to get the guy with the gun next time. No one attempts to apprehend the KAOS Bouncer, the restaurant doesn’t charge for damages, and Bad Superman doesn’t ask any questions or press charges.


The next day, Unknown Lady drags her husband, Seth, and Hardass back into the apartment courtyard after bailing the out. She angrily stops the guys and yells at her husband, saying she expected this sort of behavior from weirdos like Hardass and Seth, but not from her straight-laced, hardly-existent-on-the-show husband. Neither Hardass or Seth question why they even got locked up considering they had nothing to do with assaulting Superman or destroying the restaurant.Unknown Guy tries to explain himself, but his wife is too mad to listen. Hardass chimes in, saying what they were doing was all for Chuck. Unknown Lady stops him, saying Chuck is in DC. Seth corrects her, confessing he’s come back to win over Cheesecake. Unknown Lady, feeling the full effect of Selfish World, takes this as a slap in the face because he didn’t come to her first for help.

Now that a KAOS threat has shown itself, it’s time for Spy Boss to reveal this week’s mission. With Chuck on his Casanova quest, it’s up to Bad Superman and Cheesecake this week. She explains the crusty lightbulb the KAOS Bouncer fished out of the Shlubby Sportcaster’s dead mouth was really a CIA database he swallowed before he died. This means the bouncer’s scanner was really a super-magnet he used to draw the database out of the dead guy’s stomach. The Spy Boss spells out the objective to Superman – retrieve the stolen database.

Superman calls an audible on the plan and mentions how the bouncer wanted to take him to the KAOS director. He figures he’ll plant a tracker on himself, let the bouncer take him back to the KAOS director’s base, and then the feds can track the signal and airstrike the place to kingdom come. Cheesecake thinks twice about this plan, saying he should see what KAOS wants with him first. Superman, selfishly wanting to go all out, says what KAOS wants doesn’t matter and all that matters is taking out their base. Spy Boss interjects that being inside a terrorist base while it’s getting firebombed isn’t the smartest idea. Superman, bound and determined to go out in a blaze of glory, says he doesn’t care about the circumstances. Spy Boss just shrugs and says it’s his funeral before signing off.
After the Spy Boss disconnects, Cheesecake slaps Bad Superman upside the head, asking what his problem is. He admits, for some strange reason this episode, he can’t wait to give his life to take out the man who killed his wife. The wife he never mentions and forgot all about as he was making attempt after pathetic attempt to get into Cheesecake’s pants. At this point, Cheesecake’s mind control kicks in and she just shrugs off this suicide plot as a charming personality quirk.With no other opposition, Superman goes to the storage area and pulls out the confiscated KAOS phone Hardass used. He hits redial and tells the KAOS receptionist he’s ready for pickup.

When Chuck gets back to his apartment from wherever the hell he’s been the night before, he sees the Unknown Lady has broken in and is sitting on his couch. Chuck says it’s been a long night and cuts to the chase by handing her all the money in his wallet. Unknown Lady explains she’s not there to rob him, she just wants to talk to him.

Chuck starts by apologizing for getting the rest of the numbskulls involved in his plot to woo Cheesecake. Unknown Lady cuts him off mid-apology by punching him in the gut and telling him that’s his problem – he didn’t woo her hard enough.With Chuck doubled over, she yells at him to man up if he really wants Cheesecake back, and to stop acting like a dork with the Dork Patrol.

Down in the spy basement, a robotically-smitten Cheesecake tries one last time to talk Bad Superman out of being abducted. Superman coldly says this is expected in the spy game so she should just deal. Cheesecake says that response does not compute, so there must be another way. Superman assures her this is the only way to fully take down KAOS. All this martyrdom talk excites Superman, and by design Cheesecake, and the two of them share a passionate kiss.As we all expect, as unbelievable as it is since he was just doubled-over halfway across town, Chuck walks into the spy basement and quietly catches the two macking all over each other.

Superman pulls away and takes out his tracker, which looks like a typical AA battery. He turns it on and swallows it in front of Cheesecake.Chuck starts giggling, saying he figured it was the other way around with those two. Superman just walks up to Chuck stone-faced, tells him to take care of Cheesecake and walks out of the spy basement. Since he’s been so self-absorbed this episode, Chuck asks what that guy’s deal is.Cheesecake, nearly in tears, says he’s going to sacrifice himself to lead the CIA to KAOS. Chuck just slinks away awkwardly.

Since a man running off to a kamikaze mission is some heavy stuff, we go back to the Big Lots where TIG and Larry are stocking shelves. Larry starts complaining about Seth and the guys taking his stalker van. TIG agrees, upset they weren’t invited to spy on Superman. Larry is especially insulted, seeing how most people consider him the creepiest guy in the store anyway. TIG says, as horrible as that sounds, he has a point.

Looking outside, the two spot Superman moping to his car and driving off to his funeral. TIG and Larry feel the wave of selfishness wash over them and decide to “pull a Chuck” – meaning they just leave work to follow Superman and to prove they’re the best Big Lots stalkers out there.

In the spy basement, Cheesecake follows Superman’s beacon, but can’t stand staying on the sidelines. She goes into a sideroom to do some research, but Chuck knows this will only spell trouble. He uses a nearby computer and puts the sideroom on lockdown, sealing Cheesecake behind large glass blast doors.
Cheesecake slams on the blast door, asking what that hell he’s doing. Knowing saving Superman’s butt will really win him some major points with Cheesecake, Chuck says he’s going to help. Cheesecake exclaims the airstrike is on its way, so why do this? Chuck, giving the puppy-dog-eyes, just admits he knows how she cares about the guy. Cheesecake starts to buy his chivalry act and Chuck winks at the camera.


Bad Superman meets with the KAOS Bouncer and his men under a bridge, while TIG and Larry watch from the creepy 80's van. The goons drag Superman behind their black KAOS van and out of TIG and Larry’s sight.They pin Superman against the van while the bouncer uses the same super-magnet to painfully draw the AA battery tracker out of Superman’s stomach. I guess that’ll teach him to stash it in his shoe next time. The KAOS Bouncer tosses the tracker away and tells the goons now they can take him to see the director. The van drives off with TIG and Larry in hot pursuit.

Cheesecake paces around her isolated sideroom, desperate for a way to escape. Looking around the room, she catches a camera view from inside Big Lots and sees Hardass is working.Cheesecake gets an outlandish idea that pays off – she loosens a panel across the ceiling and pulls out some wires. She plays with them until they have perfectly stripped ends, like when people hotwire cars in movies.

Apparently known to Cheesecake, all this wiring is linked to the wall lighting in Big Lots. As Cheesecake presses the exposed ends together, this causes the lights to flicker off and on.Hardass sees this and states the obvious, that someone in the spy basement is sending an emergency Morse Code signal. He gives away a free box of Oxi-Clean to shake a customer and goes running out the front door.

Across town, Chuck has followed Bad Superman’s signal to the bridge. He tracks the signal to the regurgitated AA battery in the middle of the street. While he wonders how it got out of the guy, Chuck phone rings and it’s TIG.He brags how he and Larry have used their almighty stalking skills and tracked Superman to a Batman-villain-quality abandoned warehouse. He gives Chuck the location, and our hero snaps into action. He goes to hop into the Big Lots van, but spots Superman’s sweet convertible and decides to upgrade. Either Superman is dumb enough to leave the keys in the ignition or Chuck is the fastest car thief in history, because Chuck just jumps into the driver seat and races off.

Hardass runs down into the spy basement, which he shouldn’t have access to anymore, and releases Cheesecake. She fills him in on Chuck and Superman going after KAOS and starts checking out the computer for an update. She sees Chuck’s locator is still on the move and runs out of the spy basement to go after him. Before she runs up the stairs, she stops and reminds Hardass he’s not allowed in the spy basement anymore. Hardass just shrugs and walks out after her.

Chuck meets with TIG and Larry at the KAOS warehouse. He honestly congratulates them on taking eavesdropping and eerily invading people’s privacy to a whole new level. Larry oddly asks if Chuck needs any protection weapons before he goes in – pulling out a pair of brass knuckles and nunchucks.Despite his history with nunchucks, Chuck says no, but then stops and asks why Larry would have those things.

TIG and Larry look down at the weapons and suddenly realize pieces of dead hooker are still smeared all over the things. Larry quickly hides the items behind his back and the two creeps run off.Slightly puzzled about what just happened, Chuck decides to get down to business, taking off his jacket to reveal a flak jacket covered in back-up weapons before going inside.

What he finds in the warehouse is nothing except a fake pop machine. Since everyone, including Chuck, knows there’s no drink named “Dr. Jibb”, he Googles “pop machines used as evil hideout entrances.” Google asks “Did you mean: soda machines used as evil hideout entrances,” and returns the circuitry layout of a typical evil soda/pop machine to help him crack the code on getting in.
He hits the dispenser buttons on the machine in the correct order, causing the platform Chuck and the machine are on to go rocketing down into the KAOS spy basement.

Over in Washington DC, the Spy Boss is talking with a UFC-fighter-looking general about the upcoming airstrike. UFC General says the airstrike is all set and asks what his orders are. Spy Boss gives him the go-ahead. He stops and asks what about Bad Superman. She says, selfishly but correctly, no one really cares about Superman, and he won’t be missed.

At the same time in KAOS HQ, Bad Superman is thrown into a dark, empty room. He’s joined by the KAOS director, played by the guy who also plays Jim Sterling from the TV show Leverage. Superman tells Sterling to kill him and get it over with. Sterling eerily says he wants to educate him first. He also admits he has the answer Superman’s been seeking.

An odd cylindrical stand comes out of the floor, containing a flash drive and a USB port. Playing along, Superman inserts the drive into the port and magically the walls of the room come alive with multiple video screens of Superman’s wife in home movies. Superman starts to flake out.Jim Sterling comes right out and says he knows who killed Superman’s wife. He shows him video of her being shot to death and this must have been from the Shlubby Sportcaster’s CIA info. That’s because the video is from Cheesecake’s red test and Superman’s wife was the target she shot dead. Superman screams out in disbelief.Furiously he lunges at Sterling, but it’s just a hologram. Over the speaker, Sterling says they’ll be in touch, and Superman is tazed in the neck to knock him out.

A totally inconspicuous Playstation 2-CGI-quality stealth bomber plays over busy downtown Chuck City. The pilot announces he’s three minutes away from the target. That target is where Chuck is, sneaking around the endless white corridors with his tranq gun drawn.

Chuck spots a guard at the end of a hall and picks him off with ease. Chuck pauses, impressed he tagged the guy without needing Google. But his good luck runs out as the KAOS Bouncer and a random thug hold him up at gunpoint. They tell him to drop his gun, which he does, but Google isn’t going out without a fight.Chuck’s Google pulls up the worn-out Search History for “kung-fu” and he starts kicking ass. He takes down the nameless thug, but not before the thug grabs a flash grenade from Chuck’s flak jacket and pulls the pin.The grenade goes off, stunning and blinding both Chuck and the bouncer. Luckily, Chuck recovers first and knocks the bouncer out cold.

Out of all the halls and rooms in the KAOS spy basement, Chuck lucks upon the director’s room and finds Superman unconscious on the floor. Meanwhile up top, Cheesecake arrives at the abandoned warehouse just in time to see the PS2 stealth bomber drop a PS2 bomb on the warehouse.The warehouse explodes in a giant fireball, while Cheesecake just watching, totally unaffected by the blast even though she’s standing just about 30 feet away from the point of impact.Cheesecake starts to lose it, but stops as soon as she sees Chuck running toward her, carrying Superman.


Later in the spy basement, the Spy Boss congratulates Cheesecake for taking out the KAOS warehouse/spy basement, but in reality she should get a...since director Jim Sterling apparently got away, that wasn’t THE KAOS base, just one of many, and on a lesser note, Superman didn’t succeed in killing himself. Cheesecake thanks her for the commendation, but admits it was Chuck, as usual, who saved the day. The Spy Boss shrugs and says whoever saved the day, that was the last mission for Team Chuck. She admits it’s been an interesting three years working with the team, and tells Cheesecake she’ll see her soon in DC before signing off.

Chuck walks into the basement and asks what’s the latest news on Superman. Cheesecake says he’s unconscious, but is expected to make a full recovery. With absolutely no possible way of Superman coming in and cockblocking him, even in this plothole-heavy episode, Chuck musters up all his selfish wits and goes for broke.He tells Cheesecake he loves her, and looking back, he realizes he should have jumped the shark with her at the beginning of the season. Trying to make up for lost time, he asks her to meet him at a local train station to try and jump the shark again, planning to have them both go AWOL and take off to Mexico. Not missing a beat, Chuck passionately kisses her to seal the deal. After the kiss, thoroughly-programmed Cheesecake is still a little hesitant, but Chuck assures her he’s always loved her before walking off to get ready. She starts to get teary-eyed, showing that Superman’s mind control is starting to wear off and all the brownie points she gave Chuck for saving Superman are paying off.

Speaking of Bad Superman, he’s in a hospital bed, when suddenly he wakes up with a purpose. He rips out the IVs and grabs his wedding ring from his pile of personal items on a nearby tray.He puts it on, looking like a certified bad guy. His phone rings and he picks it up, although we don’t hear who’s on the phone or what they say.

Cheesecake has apparently teleported to Superman’s hotel room, where I guess she’s been shacking up recently. There’s a knock at the door and it’s Hardass.He beats around the bush a little, but evenly comes clean and admits to shooting the mole for Chuck’s red test. He says Chuck just isn’t a killer like the two of them. On his way out the door, Cheesecake, now totally broken from Superman’s programming from that admission, thanks Hardass for the good news. Hardass, knowing Team Chuck’s over with, just tells Cheesecake to have a nice life.

Chuck, also a teleporter, is waiting for Cheesecake at whatever random train station he assumes she’ll know the location of with all his bags packed. Cheesecake also magically has her bags packed and is ready to go. Before she walks out the door, she eyes her gun and decides to completely jump the shark, throwing it away and onto the bed.Suddenly, Bad Superman busts down the door, saying he’s received a call from Spy HQ on Jim Sterling’s new location and they have to leave immediately. Cheesecake, with only her cell phone on her, says he has to call Chuck first. Superman just smacks her and says to call him from the car where he has the cell phone blocker installed. In response, Chuck receives a text message from the Spy Boss, telling him to get to the spy basement immediately.

Teleporting back to the spy basement, the Spy Boss informs him the CIA has somehow recovered the thumb drive Superman plugged in from the burnt-out husk of the KAOS spy basement. She plays the video from it, showing Chuck the home movies of Mrs. Bad Superman. Selfishly, Chuck asks what the big deal is. She tells him to keep watching, and soon the video of Cheesecake killing Mrs. Bad Superman shows up.

Chuck tenses up, saying if KAOS showed this to Bad Superman, he’ll surely turn into a bad guy. Even though this video could have been altered to add Cheesecake’s face to someone else, and if Superman was halfway intelligent, he would see KAOS was just trying to get to him. Knowing the mentality of this show and Superman, Chuck just assumes he took the footage at face value and is now a follower of evil. He quickly asks the Spy Boss where Cheesecake is.

She says she was last seen with Superman, even though it was established he was unconscious in a hospital bed and Cheesecake was ditching all her spy equipment to get off the grid. Chuck gets worried, knowing her with him isn’t good.

And it really doesn’t look good as Cheesecake is in Superman’s car, desperately trying to call Chuck as Superman drives further out into nowhere.She tells Superman she can’t get a signal, and asks where they’re going. Superman eyeballs his wedding ring and ominously says he’s going to settle a score, before laughing like an evil genius into the camera.

So it looks like Bad Superman has really turned bad and Cheesecake is in for a world of hurt. But, if I may be honest, I have to admit this was by far the worst episode of Chuck I have ever seen. Not only was the main storyline boring and stupid, but the inconsistencies between how the characters acted and got around was overwhelming.

People just magically appearing around town. Everybody just helping Chuck for the wrong reasons, rather then just trying to back a friend. Or wanting to absurdly go after KAOS instead of taking the smart approach, like Superman had been doing the whole season. Or even ditching work like TIG and Larry to stalk a total stranger. The Selfish World spin was the only way all of these character flaws even made a bit of sense.

So where do we go from here? Obviously, Chuck not going to jump the shark by running away with Cheesecake, or by becoming a real spy in Rome. So that means the “now he’s a serious spy” intent of this season is out the window. Now it’s just back to Chuck and his crew of loveable, now mostly non-spy losers to save the day and take out the bad guy. Which now is Bad Superman. Which it could have established that he was a turned CIA agent that had the hots for Agent Cheesecake at the beginning of the season to save some time and add some mystery.

But instead he’s introduced as a bipolar good guy – mentoring and applauding Chuck one minute, and facepalming and trying to steal his girlfriend the next minute. Not to mention his non-chemistry, across the board, he had with Agent Cheesecake. And now 12 episodes into the season, most of those episodes being unfunny padding for the Superman character, it’s time for Chuck to get down to business. Which isn’t funny. On a show that’s supposed to be a wacky nerd fantasy. I don’t know. All I’m saying is get your shit together, Chuck show, and remember why people are watching you. See ya next week.