NBC’s “Chuck” continues to impress me, mostly because at the end of each episode, I’m left satisfied but with the feeling that it surely can’t last much longer. And yet it does. The on-again, off-again, fake/real relationship of Chuck and Sarah has gone on now for nearly a full three seasons. Last night, their relationship seemed to finally settle down. The question is: Can the series continue its momentum now that the central couple is together? Or will it pull a “Moonlighting,” or even worse, a “Friends,” where the writers continue to find ways to pull the couple apart. Honestly, I don’t think I can suffer through another Chuck and Sarah break-up. But then again, I’m not sure I can suffer through their relationship, either.
The episode two weeks ago was originally supposed to be the last of the season, and had it been, it’d have gone out with a bang. But NBC ordered up additional episodes, so the writers had to find a way to continue the storyline on the quick. With Chuck and Sarah together now, there’s only one thing to do: Put them in bed together, providing NBC with every opportunity to present Yvonne Strahovski with as little clothing as possible (no complaints here). At the beginning of the episode, in between boning sessions, Chuck and Sarah agree to quit the spy game and run away together.
Naturally, it won’t be easy. General Beckman tasks Colonel Casey with tracking AWOL Chuck and Sarah down on a train in Europe. Morgan is enrolled in the effort too, as it appears — now that he knows that Chuck is a spy — that he will be brought in on a lot of missions in the future. Meanwhile, Awesome and Ellie are prepping for their departure to Africa — Ellie is heartbroken that Chuck’s not around for the going away party.
While on the train, Chuck flashes because the man can’t go anywhere without flashing. So, Chuck and Sarah end up with an impromptu mission, which they agree will be their last. Casey and Grimes show up, Sarah demonstrates a terrible Texas accent, which is excused because she’s in a nightie, the wrong people are taken out, and eventually Casey and Morgan are tied up, while Chuck and Sarah are forced to save them from a group of baddies while handcuffed together. The result: One of the best choreographed fight scenes of the season — fisticuffs by way of the Tango. It’s colossal.
Of course, by the end of the episode, Chuck and Sarah have agreed to return to the spy life, now as a permanent couple. As General Beckman appropriately notes, “I must caution you that allowing your private life to interfere with your professional one can be dangerous … but off the record, it’s about damn time.”
But will “Chuck,” the television show, survive Chuck and Sarah as a permanent couple? And for how long? And are Awesome and Ellie really gone? I’m not sure that the show needs them anymore. Or at least, it doesn’t need Ellie anymore, but you can never have enough Awesome.
Next week: Fred Willard continues his rash of television appearances as the episode’s enemy.