Chuck Review: Chuck vs. the Leftovers

Oh thank you God, Linda Hamilton (Chuck’s mom/Mary) is back this week. Admittedly, she wants to kill Chuck, but honestly, I’ll take what I can get. Those ARMS, you guys. That HAIR. Give me a woman who knows her way around a machine gun and I’m butter.

In an attempt to help Chuck train sans Intersect – “Chuck Unplugged” – Morgan has signed them up for “Strip Kick,” and it’s, you know, hilarious because men can’t strip! That’s crazy! They’re men, you guys! STRIPPING! The pole lift-and-kick move ends up coming in handy when Chuck and Sarah are attacked by a bunch of eyepatched goons on a late-night walk. Chuck is in the process of failing admirably when Mary drops in, guns blazing, and growls “Come with me if you want to live.” I take a five-minute break to clean myself up because I just fangirled all over the living room floor.

Chuck is understandably a little peeved that his mom abandoned and shot him, but Sarah’s a bit more ready to trust her. Or at least interrogate her until she can find out the truth. An extended Subway commercial at the Buy More – seriously, is it always this blatant? – leads us to a Thing One and Thing Two sequence that I could not possibly be bothered to relate. It’s not funny. Trust me. Mercifully, it does involve the both of them getting stabbed in the neck, but something tells me it won’t be permanent.

Mary tries to explain that she’s only trying to help Chuck and that Volkoff will be after all of them once he learns his mission has failed, but she’s somewhat hampered by the fact that Chuck keeps calling to explore his abandonment issues. It’s cut short when Morgan calls to inform them that Volkoff has taken over the Buy More, taken the Things hostage, crammed the building with thugs bristling with guns, and jammed their cell phones. “That’s always Volkoff’s first move,” Mary smirks. “Kill all communications.” You know, I always say you can tell what a man’s like in bed by the way he kidnaps and threatens you.

It’s a Buy More standoff! “Good news, bad news,” Chuck exposits; “Chuck and Lester are about to die. I call that bad news.” Oh, I’d like to respectfully disagree. The real bad news is that everyone’s trapped in the basement and Volkoff’s risking all of their lives because he’s massively in love with Mary. I would absolutely take over a mid-tier electronics store for you, Linda. Everyone seems to find this news more than a little surprising, and Zachary Levi gives us a patented Chuck-squint that takes us to commercial. That guy’s got more mugs than a Starbucks at Christmas. I’m here all week, folks!

Sarah manages to convince Chuck that the best plan is to threaten to hurt Mary, but Volkoff doesn’t mind pulling out the nuclear option, natch. If they don’t hand her over, he’ll incinerate them all and call it a wash. Oh, I like him. Once he’s got Mary back, Volkoff agrees to keep his promise and let Chuck and Sarah live, but, of course, he’s lying. Seeing Chuck at the business end of a gun barrel, Mary has no choice but to blurt out: “He’s my son.” Volkoff – rather generously – seems willing to forgive her, at least until everyone learns that Ellie’s on the phone. Tim Dalton’s face is fantastically pained as he kvetches to Mary: “You have a son and a daughter? You didn’t think I could have a relationship with your family? Kids love me!” He kisses Chuck rapidly three times and invites himself to dinner, and I have to clean up the living room again.

Ellie’s a little surprised to see her mother on the front doorstep, and even more surprised that there’s a passel of terrifying men in suits outside. Volkoff lets Chuck know that if dinner doesn’t go perfectly, everyone dies. I don’t know about you, but I would love it if he dated my mom. The after-dinner charades are a bit much, though. I do wish they would let this storyline play out a while, but something tells me that Mary’s due for a Heel Face Turn any minute now. Chuck enlists Captain Awesome to set off a CIA beacon and fake an emergency hospital page. Volkoff’s legitimately sad to see them go, and things devolve pretty quickly into a Mexican standoff.

Mary manages to end the gun-pointing by promising to end “Alexei” if he ever harms her family, which he somehow finds endearing. And it sort of is. Everyone sort of leaves. Mary sort of apologizes. Oh, Linda. I hate to see you go, but you know I love to watch you walk away.

For another opinion on this episode, read All In The Family by Inisia Lewis.

Season 4, Episode 10: Chuck vs. the Leftovers (originally aired November 29, 2010)

For more on Chuck, click here.

Mondays at 8/7C on NBC

Images courtesy of NBC Universal.

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