Chuck Watch: Season 5, Episode 11 - Chuck Versus The Bullet Train

This is it, my fellow viewers, the penultimate episode to next week’s two-hour series finale of Chuck. Deep breath, I promised myself I wouldn’t cry. Granted this episode doesn’t make that task any easier as Sarah is forced to deal with the side effects of the recently introduced Intersect on her brain. Whatever your thoughts on this episode, it is clear that we are in for a huge show ender that must not be missed.

The Train Job

For those Firefly fans out there, it is nice to see Jayne (or Casey) safely inside the train this time instead of getting knocked unconscious on top of it. The similarity that is not good to see is that Adam Baldwin is forced to turn on his friends again (though I guess technically he didn’t really care for River and Simon all that much last time). Granted he did it to save Alex, and was trying to undermine Nicholas Quinn the whole time, so I will forgive his treachery.

The main events on this train were very story driven, moving from rescuing Chuck to rescuing Alex to rescuing Morgan and Awesome to (a failed attempt at) rescuing Sarah… There really was a lot of kidnapping going on tonight, surrounded by a lot of deteriorating health on Sarah’s part. However, they still managed to keep the episode light on many fronts, thank goodness. Alex gets some nice screen time tonight (both pre and post kidnapping), especially with Morgan, we get a brief moment of geeking out between Sarah and Chuck over parkour and other Intersect abilities, and best of all, the Japanese Bullet Train provides the opportunity for non-offensive stereotype jokes. Look at all that technology! But a girl has to ask, where were all the ninja and samurai skills when they were needed!? Heck, we even got a kabuki joke for all those theatre fans out there, so if Chuck can bring in Russian paratroopers, I think he could round up some native fighters here as well.

Forced Dementia

With the name calling last week, I am surprised that the second half of “whorey blonde” wasn’t pushed further this week towards Sarah. After all, she has had the Intersect for only a couple days now and has already flashed 40 or so times. With what happened to Morgan, how dumb does she have to be to think flashing this frequently is ok? (Yes, it is far more hilarious when Sarah says she flashes than when Chuck does. I may have thought calling her a whore was inappropriate last week, but I still fall prey to finding things like this far funnier than they actually are. Don’t judge me, it’s not like I laugh at dead baby jokes.)

Then again, it wasn’t until this episode that Ellie realized that there was probably a correlation between flashing (*shameless chuckling*) and the triggering of memory loss following some testing on Morgan (who somehow thought that brain tests would require the removal of his pants under the hospital gown). So if it took Ellie, the brain scientist, this long to make that connection then I guess I won’t start breaking out the dumb blonde jokes quite yet, especially because after that ending they just really seem in poor taste. For Morgan, the memory loss was never really shown so much on the personal front (he retains memories of his mother, and things such as this, as far as we know), but was rather more towards the cultural signifiers that made him who he was. He forgot Indiana Jones and Star Wars, but what Sarah goes through is far worse. The images went by so quickly while she was being tortured (I couldn’t have been the only one screaming “shut your eyes, Sarah!” as she was forced to flash on things), but I know I at least saw an image of her and Chuck at their wedding. The memory of one of the happiest days of her life has been taken from her, and rewatching DVDs won’t bring that back. Not only that, but she doesn’t even remember who Chuck is.

Domestic Abuse

With her memories gone, Sarah wakes up in the rather green hotel room she stayed in when she first started out in Burbank at series start, but this time around the mission that came along with the image of Chuck is a little more intense then last time. We’re talking murder.

At least this time around Casey is already on Chuck’s side, but Chuck has a lot of work to do in order to talk her down from putting a bullet through his skull, so he better start coming up with memory triggering stories fast, which is what he had to do for Morgan. With our romantic, memory loss story needs being fulfilled by The Vow come Valentine’s Day, there is no need to make Chuck fight to have Sarah fall in love with him again. Instead, lets just go the simple route in this finale (i.e. stories trigger memories, Ellie using brain science to save the day, etc.), because if she doesn’t remember everything we have seen in the past 5 seasons then someone will be letting out some ugly, angry crying come next Friday. Like when Buffy ate it at the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s fifth season. That was a bad night…

Jeffster’s Redemption

Ever since Jeff became a smarter individual again, I have been very anti storylines involving Jeff and Lester. I hated intelligent and sophisticated Jeff, but my hatred of Jeffster sticking their noses where they didn’t belong was even stronger. However, I will say that tonight’s episode made it all worth it. For starters, the phone conversation between Casey and Lester went down better than I could have ever imagined as Lester was slow to understand exactly what Casey was telling him. But best of all, even sophisticated individuals will be lost to joy when a flamethrower is nestled in their arms, and it was nice to see this playful side to Jeff again because it fits better with Lester’s personality and their friendship. So I will give them their visitor’s pass to Castle, but I really hope this doesn’t mean that they are actually going to go deeper into the spy world.

Final Thoughts

I can’t sum up this episode any better than by shouting “I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE TWO HOUR FINALE!” from my rooftop, but it iced today so instead of plummeting to my death I will instead shout it over the internet. So until next week, here are some questions to ponder:

Is there a reference I am missing with those opening credits? For some reason they made me think about Jurassic Park as well, for which I have no explanation. Is “deleterious” really a normal vocabulary word for most people? Why is the Buy More still stocking Van Helsing? Who else is hoping that Sarah punches Quinn once in the face for every memory lost (brass knuckles optional)? But most importantly, what are your hopes for the Chuck series finale? That better not have been hesitation on Chuck’s face when Sarah asked him if he really loves her in the preview! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!