Artificial Continuum

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Chuck is back. Once again saved by a devoted fanbase from near cancellation, the kind hearted espionage comedy has returned for its fourth season.

Picking up after the dramatic conclusion to the third season, Chuck Vs. The Anniversary finds our kind hearted hero struggling to find his mother, who has been missing since he was a child. Teaming up with his childhood friend Morgan,Chuck struggles to accomplish his global search without tipping off his sister of his friends in the government, who are dealing with an issue of their own.

Despite being the fourth season of a sucessful series, the season opener to Chuck feels bizarrely disjointed and frustrating. While the acting and production values are as spectacular as always, the pacing and plot feel annoyingly disjointed.

Like the lackluster Season 3 opener, Chuck vs. The Anniversary takes place over the course over several months. However, we are unable to see the effects of this time period due to the lackluster writing and editing. The entire episode feels chaotic and hard to follow.

The humor has also evolved into something that is not typical of the series. While it is certainly funny, it does not feel like it belongs in an episode of Chuck.

Despite all these changes, Chuck also seems to have another foot planted firmly in the past. Despite being fired several times, Chuck has returned to work at the Buy More. Despite a rather nice conclusion to this plot point at the end of Season 3, Chuck seems determined to include this now tiresome plot point in the series.

However, even though the episode is deeply flawed, there are moments where the show we have come to love shines through. The action scenes continue to be fun and creative, and there are numerous character moments that feel refreshing and emotionally satisfying.

Score: C+