Chuck 5.05 "Chuck vs. the Hack-Off"

A tv review article by: Kyle Garret

Chuck turns to Verbanski for help tracking a computer virus; while Lester and Jeff's relationship is complicated by a new Buy More employee.

Chuck airs Friday nights at 8:00 on NBC.

Enjoyable.  That’s the first word that popped into my head when I thought about this episode of Chuck.  It was enjoyable, in the way that Chuck used to be enjoyable, in the way it hasn’t really been enjoyable all season.

Like last week, we got a nice melding of the two, main narratives of the show: the spy world and the Buy More.  Sure, Lester’s time in jail is a bit on the ridiculous side, but the stories involving the Buy More cast are supposed to be ridiculous, at least within some semblance of reason.  That last bit is key, as they had been taking things a bit too far in previous years.

Lester’s predicament also leads to a fantastic in joke for those of us who love Community – and I’m not referring to Danny Pudi’s guest role.

And while Lester in jail was entertaining, Casey in jail was the better story, almost entirely because of Carrie-Anne Moss.  She’s been a fantastic addition to the show and really shined in the episode, from her relationship with Casey to what amounted to the first blast by Team Bartowski again the bad guys within the CIA.  It’s too bad she’s leaving, but I’m hoping we’ll see her again before the show ends.

Of course the whole point of this episode was to re-establish Chuck as the computer nerd we saw at the very beginning of the show, but never to this extent.  We only really got hints as to Chuck’s computer skills back in the day; this is the first time we ever seen them in action.  At certain points it does push the bounds of believability, but only because you would think we would have heard about Chuck’s amazing abilities before now.  Then again, even unbelievable hacking skills are nothing compared to the Intersect, so it’s no wonder they were over shadowed.

As much as I enjoyed the bulk of this episode, it was really the ending that threw some gas on the newly kindled fire that is this final season of Chuck.  Chuck telling Sarah that they should forget about life after being spies, because they needed to be the best spies they could was like a rallying cry, and the first time we’ve really seen some forward momentum on this show.

And judging by the previews for the next two weeks, it looks like this season may really and truly match all the hopes I have for it.

Kyle Garret is the author of I Pray Hardest When I'm Being Shot At, available now from Hellgate Press. His short fiction has been published in the Ginosko Literary Journal, Literary Town Hall, Children, Churches, & Daddies and Falling Into Place. He writes comic book reviews here at Comic Bulletin and blogs for PopMatters. He can be found at and on Twitter as @kylegarret.

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