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Chuck: "Chuck Vs. The Best Friend"

Illustration for article titled Chuck: "Chuck Vs. The Best Friend"
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Anna is back! Hooray! So much eye make-up!

It's been a really long time, and it feels even longer given the recent Chuck shuffling; due to Obama's speech a few weeks ago, the episode that airs tonight was actually meant to go up back then, with the Valentine's Day episode from last week meant to follow this one. As such, if you were paying attention, you probably knew that, after all is said and done, Morgan and Anna will get back together—the V-Day ep started with Morgan telling Chuck that he was happy they both had girlfriends for the holiest of holy days.

Oh well. Tonight's ep is still incredibly enjoyable, even knowing this minorest of spoilers. Morgan is quite upset, as Anna has moved on to another man—so… soon? (I actually don't remember the status of their relationship, or how it came to be that they were broken up.) He recruits the Buy More team to spy on Anna's date, and it's duly discovered that she's actually dating a guy with ties to evil-doings—you can thank Chuck's flash for that. This has a few implications: First, he can't tell anyone from Buy More how he knows this guy is bad news; plus, he's ordered by his bosses to use "connections" to get closer to the new dude. Meaning, he has to fake wanting to go on a double date with Anna, thus stabbing his best friend in the back.

Of course, he does it, and of course Morgan finds out; he had gone on his own to spy-stalk Anna, and sees Chuck getting all buddy-buddy with her. But as Morgan's luck would have it, he accidentally becomes the target of the bad guys Chuck was trying to track—now, they believe sweet innocent Morgan is to blame, and they vow to take him out.

Chuck and Morgan's friendship is usually in the background (except when it was creepily in the foreground for, oh, most of the first season), so it was cool to see an episode dedicated mostly to fleshing out the root of it all. Morgan has always needed Chuck, as the opening scene and subsequent scenes, all of them, make clear. But for the first time, Chuck admits that, at one point, he needed Morgan. Every one in Chuck's life has abandoned him at one point, but Morgan has always been there—half a cherry cheesecake and a shiny gold Legend of Zelda cartridge in hand. It's insane to ask Chuck to betray this deepest of loyalty, even for a mission as grave as this one, and much of the conflict stems from his insistence to stick by Morgan and jeopardize everything else. This is why we like Chuck, and I hope the inevitable corruption of his morals never comes.

This may have also been one of the only episodes this season with every major character playing a part. (Except for Big Mike, I suppose, though I doubt he's really that central.) In fact, the B-story—Elle and Awesome are dealing with wedding stuff, so Lester and Jeff decide to audition themselves as the wedding band—had nothing to do with anything, but kicked major ass. Basically, any storyline where Jeff can say ridiculous things (his inspired 8-Mile speech) and Lester can belt out "Africa" is okay by me.

My only major complaint: Will they ever end an episode without Sarah and Chuck longingly glancing at each other, silently wishing for the quiet, datey life they can never achieve?

Grade: A-

Stray observations:

  • "80 percent of my encounters with women are without their knowledge."

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