Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chuck Season 3 Preview of the first FIVE episodes

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:

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.

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.

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)..

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.

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. 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. :)


  1. Nicely done, Magnus. I'm so excited that the screeners are out at last!

  2. Question, is there any way these episodes can be leaked on the internet before Jan 10?

  3. I'm counting down the days to S3 of Chuck!!! and even put in for paid time off work so I can see It.

  4. I don't see how anyone who wants to maintain their relationship with WB/NBC could reason to do such a thing. All the episodes are watermarked.

  5. Angelpoo12... I think it will be more than worth it. Taking off from work, I mean. :)

  6. Thank you for breaking down the episodes for us as much as you could, although I would have loved to have more spoilers, I understand why you didnt. This new info makes the wait more fun and a little less stressful knowing more, thank you

  7. I thought about posting spoilers but I don't think that would help anyone... well, except people who can't wait. :) But it is only a little more than 3 weeks away.

  8. Great write up Magnus. You have nicely whetted our sppetites without ruining the main course.

  9. Thanks for the reviews. If it isn't too much spoilage, can you at least link key scenes from the promos with what episodes they belong to?

    Chuck playing the guitar?
    Chuck on the zipline?
    Chuck protecting awesome?

  10. I will tell you this... all of the promo scenes come from those first five. Most from episode 1. :)

  11. Even if any of the episodes leaked, I wouldn't watch it. THAT, is how much I love Chuck. 'Cause I would steal candy from a baby (shocking, I know) to see some more Chuck. -reesespuff27

  12. You shouldn't give out any spoilers let people be amazed. That goes for the write up you do next week too.

  13. Nice write up, you big tease.

    FYI I voted for Pancakes! I love Chuck as much as Ron Swanson loves breakfast foods.

  14. Thank-you for confirming that they continue ramping 'Chuck' up past 11 :-).

    Hope there are some good Casey moments in there as well [G].

  15. What episode will the crazy shippers commit mass suicide in?

  16. Clearly, the last question is from AgentChuck003, who is the only person who would take that comment seriously. However, I will answer it. That episode is not in the first five. In fact, while I do think crazy shippers will find ways to be upset by ANY episode, the first five will make crazy shippers happy at times but also unhappy. No suicides.

  17. For some reason I can only post anonymous on my iphone. I appreciate the advance review and thanks for giving the shippers a break. It hasn't been an easy offseason for us. ;)


  18. Oh wow. All this, *and* I spotted a Chuck promo during a re-run of NCIS on USA yesterday! My level of excitement and anticipation has just jumped again. Merry Christmas!

    And re: spoilers, Magnus, don't you know yet that everyone talks? ;>

  19. Heh. I have already spoiled a lot of the season in my podcast and blogs. Now that WB has sent me something official, I am going to treat that with the proper respect. :) If you want to hear some spoilers, check out episode 12 & even 13 of Chuck You Tuesday (on the side).

  20. Great breakdown! I'm particularly excited by any mention of Captain Awesome. Does he seem to get more screentime than before due to his new role?

  21. Captain Awesome's role is expanded, yes. I won't get into the particulars, at least now, but as Ryan has said in interviews, he becomes more like Chuck from seasons 1 & 2. And Chuck, in return, acts more like a cross between Sarah & Casey toward his brother-in-law.

  22. I had read the interviews where he says he's like Chuck in S1 and S2, but since Awesome doesn't have "powers" like the Intersect, I assume it's more in learning about the spy world and how it works?

    But Chuck acting as instructor/mentor to Awesome about the spy world sounds like SO much fun. <3

  23. Devon has that wide-eyed thing Chuck had in the first season as well as the regret of entering into it from season 2. He wants it so bad but once he is involved, he realizes it is a life and death game. It adds a lot to both characters because they are both learning how to behave in brand new roles.

  24. So what exactly was in the screening package? That looks so totally awesome; I think I would die if I got one.

    You are a very, very lucky person. :)

  25. I am very lucky. This is true. Though, one could argue I worked hard for it. :)

    In the box... DVDs; a note from the show runners; a voice changer; spy sunglasses; episode descriptions; and a spy secret message kit.

    Oh, and one more thing... the knowledge that Season 3 is amazing. That is priceless.

  26. Thanks for a great write up Magnus. Its good that you didn't give out any major spoilers.


  27. Great to hear about the first five episodes, especially the last one. Im really hoping Kristin Kreuk gets to put in a good performance with her guest run on the show. She gets a bad rap with some online fans cause of Smallville but Im hoping shes good on the show.

  28. Kristin Kreuk is great. Loved her in the episode. Though, Brandon Routh is my favorite new kid on the Chuck block. :)

  29. Thanks for the complete lack of spoilers. I'm sure it was a real challenge, but the review came out great, and we didn't learn anything.
    I' happy! (and that's *not* sarcasm)

    I wouldn't have read this, I never think to come here and I'm up to my neck in Men of a Certain Age - but a friend actually read it to me *over the phone.* Right after Sepinwall's, I think.

    Nice of NBC to send you a press kit!

  30. NBC didn't send me the press kit, WB did. But glad you liked the lack of spoilers. You should avoid reading what I put up on Monday or Tuesday, though. There will be some spoilers (though, nothing big).

  31. Magnus, you have no idea how many times I have read over the two season 3 previews you have posted. And every time I read them, I get that much more excited.
    A kind request: After the episodes have aired, could you kindly come back to your previews and specify what you were referring to in some instances. For example, where you say there was a scene in 3.02 that made you laugh so hard, after it has aired, it would be nice to know exactly which scene you were referring to.
    Thats an obvious example but I hope you get my drift. It would just be nice to know exactly what you were talking about though I'm sure most of it we'll be able to figure out for ourselves. Many thanks.

  32. I don't know if I will do that. It depends on how much time I have. I have to record lots of material for the podcast (Chuckfest, premiere, ratings, and analysis for three episodes) so I can't promise that I will have time to write up anything. However, I am glad my previews interested you enough to return to them. :)

    However, you can listen to the podcasts and hear me address all the points.


No flaming, baiting, trolling, expletives, or racism allowed. And NO DISCUSSIONS of the actor's personal lives ever.