So, I got the awesome CHUCK press packet from WB and was as excited as I have ever been opening up anything... ever.
When I opened the DVD package and saw it was the first FIVE episodes, I nearly freaked! FIVE?! I thought it would be one, maybe two... but FIVE? I love you WB.
I won't get into any major spoilers but here is a quick breakdown:
EPISODE 1 - CHUCK VERSUS THE PINK SLIP
Though I tweeted earlier that this was a great job by Chris Fedak & Ali Adler, Ali corrected me. It is written by Fedak and Miller. And it should have been a bit obvious as this episode feels a lot like "Colonel" in many ways. It is full of action; very funny at times; deeply emotional and dramatic; and has probably the best Chuck & Sarah dialogue in the series up to that point.
EPISODE 2 - CHUCK VERSUS THE THREE WORDS
Now here is an Ali Adler & Scott Rosenbaum episode and it is as awesome as any either has written. The theme in this episode is "the cardinal rule." Carina returns and just as the last time we saw her, she is a whirlwind for our heroes. Yet again --and it begins to feel like the writers decided to not hold much back at all with digging into these characters far more than ever before-- we get some really powerful stuff between Chuck & Sarah. I should also say that while this still feels like the CHUCK we know and love, there is something different about it. More maturity while not losing any of the humor. There is a real sense of things having a greater weight to them than ever before. It is also the most emotional episode of the series (even more so than Break-Up, Best Friend, and Lethal Weapon from season 2)... at least up to this point.
WARNING! There is a scene early on in this episode so funny, I nearly shattered windows with my howling laughter. You have been notified.
EPISODE 3 - CHUCK VERSUS THE ANGEL DE LA MUERTE
At this point, season 3 is on an incredible roll as it dives into a very entertaining episode. One of the really fun things about this season is that unlike previous seasons, where certain characters seemed reluctant to talk to each other about their feelings, this season has them exploring various new dynamics of emotion. It continues in episode 3 and introduces a whole new element to the spy game. Also, two of our main characters find themselves in brand new roles. This is the third episode in a row in which the Chuck and Sarah relationship is nudged in a direction. Yet unlike some parts of season 2 where it felt tiring, it is all done from a fresh perspective. Some of this episode had moments that felt way too conveniently placed in the paths of characters but it is still a lot of fun and ends shockingly (since this will be the first Monday episode back, people will have a lot to talk about for that week come January)..
EPISODE 4 - CHUCK VERSUS OPERATION AWESOME
Now, this one has a really good villain. I loved this episode from the first scene to the last. I would call this a big change episode. There is also a theme in this episode but if I say what it is, then it will spoil the surprise.
There is a scene where one character tries to explain something to another that literally brought me to tears... from laughing. It is so insane that it probably could happen. Bravo to all the actors involved for even getting through it. I am not sure how they kept a straight face long enough to get the shots.
I can't really say much without spoiling the story here but a new character arrives and the title of this episode could just as easily refer to him as to our favorite brother in-law.
EPISODE 5 - CHUCK VERSUS FIRST CLASS
This is a big episode for Chuck. I can't really say more. But it is great. This one reminds me of a great HEROES season 1 episode. Maybe Spiderman 1? I can't think of anything to say that wouldn't give away important plot elements so I will just end there.
So... how would I rate the first 5 episodes of season 3? After one viewing of each:
Ep. 1: Great
Ep. 2: EPIC!
Ep. 3: Good.
Ep. 4: AWESOME!
Ep. 5: Superb!
How about if I compare it to the first five of seasons 1 and 2? Much better than the first five of season 1. Better than the first five of season 2.
So far, season 3 is the best of the series. :)