Chuck 5.08 “Chuck vs. the Baby”A tv review article by: Samuel Salama Cohén, Kyle Garret
Sarah is forced to confront a secret from her past, one that even Chuck can't know.
Chuck airs Friday nights at 8:00 on NBC.
Sam Salama Cohén: Now this is the final Chuck season us fans wanted to see.
Experience more inner turmoil in the imperfect world of Chuck and Sarah, still full of secrets. See the ramifications of Shaw’s plans and how personal his vengeance over Sarah Walker was destined to be. And, last but not least, manage to tie the episode with the beginning of the Series, understanding Sarah’s state of mind when she became Chuck’s handler.
Kyle Garret: I agree, this was a fantastic episode, probably the best of the season. There were a few small details that seemed off, but I’ll get to that later – and they really aren’t so important that they diminish this episode.
Sam: The last two episodes seem to have focused on Sarah Walker’s loose ends, first with Shaw coming back in a very personal way and this time around, with the consequences of her past actions in a Budapest mission still hunting her.
I believe the writers have made the right choice in putting Sarah on the spot, while advancing the rest of the characters’ subplots in a nice way.
We all know how dangerous and mysterious Sarah is, so it seemed a bit forced to suddenly make her the loving and caring type. Remember that this is the last season and we are experiencing a kind of a countdown with each passing week, so that means that all the pieces have to be in place before the last episode airs.
Kyle: I agree with the former and have some concerns about the latter!
The flashbacks with Sarah were fantastic, particularly when she killed the room full of men. It really underscores how dangerous she is, and is a great nod to the first season. What I particularly liked about it is how she kind of framed that live within the CIA, making her decision at the end a proactive move to have a different life.
As for putting all the pieces into place for the finale, I completely agree, I’m just a bit concerned. Next week it appears that Casey is reunited with Verbanski and Sarah might be pregnant. But we still have five episodes left. It feels like everything will be tied up after next week’s episode. At this point, what loose ends does the show really have? There’s no more conspiracy. Morgan and Alex are back together. Sarah’s mom has returned. Heck, even Jeff and Lester are friends again, now with a non-brain damaged Jeff! It all seems way too neat right now.
Sam: This was a true Chuck episode, and I would say that its intensity and character development (two of the series’ traits that made me fall in love with it in the first place) were nailed by the creative team. The actors seemed to be more aware of the intensity they had to play their roles with this time around, and none of them disappoint.
Sure, we had a brief Awesome-Ellie stupid moment, but I guess that felt like a silly romantic continuation to the “Versus the Curse” episode than anything else.
Kyle: Yeah, I was actually okay with the Ellie and Awesome moment, believe it or not. Had they still been with the CIA, I think I would have found more problems with it, as they are roaming around a secret base. It also occurred to me how crazy good looking the Woodcombs are.
Yvonne Strahovski was great in this episode, although I will add that it’s probably time to stop torturing Sarah. This is two weeks in a row now where she’s tied up and beaten by a guy; one week was enough!
Sam: More good things? Alex’s and Morgan’s relationship gets a much needed push, as, just the same as it happens in real life, the outsider’s point of view helps to clear things and move them forward.
As I said, however, we are reaching the end of the season and of the series as a whole, and there’s still one important subplot to be addressed, which solution is hinted at on this episode. And that subplot is nothing less than Chuck and Sarah’s future. Is the CIA in their lives then years from now? Do they even want that?
Kyle: I don’t think it’s ambiguous. I think they make their decision at the end of the episode, passing on the house, even, because they won’t take the CIA job. I doubt it will even be an issue again, although I would imagine the CIA will need their help again in the future.
Speaking of the CIA, I will mention the one glaring issue with this episode. When the now-deceased CIA boss asks Sarah about the “package” aka the baby, she says she doesn’t have it. And that’s it. He doesn’t ask her what happened to it, or how she had it and now doesn’t. He works for the CIA! They wouldn’t just let that go. It was a pretty glaring misstep.
Sam: As the episodes advance we keep getting more clues as to how it all will end, but I have to say that I loved some of this episode’s scenes regarding Chuck and Sarah’s future. Both of them were talking and acting completely in-character throughout all the episode, and the ending, though not a bomb, proved to be potentially interesting, even if my partner in crime Kyle Garret had anticipated some of it weeks ago.
Kyle: You know, I actually said to my wife that this episode was exactly what it needed to be. I spent a whole week stewing over all the bad moves they could have made with this episode, only to see them make none of them!
Sam: Oh, and if some of our complaints with regards to this season’s first episodes had to do with the poor action sequences or the heavy handled threats, I have to take my hat off to the way writers managed to give us a bad-ass pre-Chuck Sarah Walker, which reminded me that this girl is to be taken seriously!
Secrets, a threatening past that comes back to haunt you, hints to the future and some secondary characters getting screen time and a substantial advancement on their subplots. All that, mixed with some good old action and a nice “Made-In-Chuck” dose of humor.
Kyle: I agree, it was a well balanced episode. I just don’t know that we really got any hints about the future. I feel like we got endings. I really hope the writers have some Chuck level twists and turns for the final four weeks (the last two episodes air back to back!).
Sam: Yes, it looks that this time we know where we’re going, and in doing so, we’re getting there in style. Chuck style.
Sam is a passionate comic lover, who since an early age, found himself into the grasp of Marvel titles such as Conan the Barbarian, Captain America, Spider-Man, and, of course, his true love (after his girlfriend Natalia, that is), The Avengers.
As Comics Bulletin's Community Manager, right now a lot of his time is devoted to managing and improving the site's presence on social networks, and on building an active and interesting Community. Currently living in Madrid, he loves travelling around the world -- and getting comics wherever he goes. You can find him as @SamSalama on Twitter, and as Samuel Salama on Facebook.
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 KyleGarret.com and on Twitter as @kylegarret.