Chuck appears to be trading on past glories recently, as this episode featured the return of Armand Assante (as Generalissimo Goya) following last week's reprise of Steve Austin and Nicole Richie's villains. In some ways it's great to see the show getting mileage from its extensive rogue's gallery, but it inevitably means the episode doesn't feel as fresh. Still, there's more to discover about Goya than most of Chuck's supporting characters, so "Chuck Versus The Coup d'Etat" was a mostly worthwhile return to the fictional banana republic of Costa Gravas.
Concurrently, Chuck (Zachary Levi) laughed off his unintentional "proposal of marriage" to Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) in last week's climax, but is now wondering what her answer would have been if he'd genuinely popped the question. He takes note of a self-help tome the Buy More are holding a book signing for (Dr Fred's 100 Conversations Before "I Do"), but talking to Sarah about his feelings is easier said than done. Luckily, they were both whisked to Costa Gravas with Devon and Ellie as a welcome distraction, but found themselves in the middle of a coup d'état organized by Goya's angry wife Hortencia (Tia Texada), with Chuck also realizing that Goya's palace contains a Soviet-made nuclear weapons system...
Back in Burbank, Casey (Adam Baldwin) was confined to a wheelchair after being shot in the foot last week, so found himself with Morgan (Joshua Gomez) as a nursemaid. Adding to Casey's torment, it turns out Morgan has been in communication with his daughter Alex (Mekenna Melvin), and indeed has romantic feelings he's unsure are mutual, rendering him tongue-tied around her.
It was a cleverly handled episode in terms of the communication theme, with Chuck/Sarah and Morgan/Alex unable to express their feelings for each other, and that likewise being the crux of the problem between Goya and Hortencia, whose marriage had soured and led to this unfortunate revolution. I'm always impressed when episodes manage to have a subtextual layer to them that feeds through every storyline in play, and ".... Versus The Coup d'Etat" was certainly a strong example of that from writer Kristin Newman.
|Second of Strahotness: bikini bod-acious|
Overall, "Chuck Versus The Coup d'Etat" was a bread-and-butter episode, but I responded to its theme and thought it was cleverly spread throughout the hour. I'm not a fan of Assante's character, mainly because the actor could be a much more effective villain but instead has been given a jokey caricature to play, but the storyline for him was a lot better here than in his season 3 debut.
- Goya's Subway mention amused me, knowing that company's affiliation with Chuck and help in keeping it on-air with sponsorship.
- Great to see Morgan and Alex as a likely romance on the show, with the likelihood of Casey doing a Robert-DeNiro-in-Meet-The-Parents routine around them. I'm still a little worried Morgan's been palmed off to the Buy More subplots now, when his intergration with the spy stuff worked so well last season. Hopefully they'll shake things up with Morgan, so he's not always stuck in one role.
- Would an electrical store really hold a book signing for a 100 Conversations Before "I Do"?
- Less of a Devon/Ellie focused episode than it threatened to be, but I'm okay with that. Maybe I'm alone in this, but those characters have never really appealed to me, and they feel even more redundant now that Chuck's secret is out.
WRITER: Kristin Newman
DIRECTOR: Robert Duncan McNeill
GUEST CAST: Armand Assante, Alex Fernandez, Mekenna Melvin, Todd Sherry & Tia Texada,
TRANSMISSION: 11 October 2010 – NBC, 8/7c