Chuck – Chuck Versus The Subway (S03E18) – Episode review

The quality of Chuck has ramped up dramatically over the past couple of weeks. As the penultimate episode, Chuck Versus The Subway pulls in all those loose threads that have been hanging over the last couple of weeks and escalates the excitement to fever pitch.

Things kick off nicely when Chuck hears Shaw’s voice in his head. He chases a guy who looks like Shaw into the Subway and gets his confirmation when Shaw draws his attention just as the train pulls away. Chuck’s dad helps them to trace where Shaw went to – a mysterious door in a subway station.

Back at the Buy More, Devon is morose and drunk because he thinks Ellie’s having an affair. Big Mike’s advice? “If he’d been doing more mounting, then he wouldn’t be in this situation.” and Jeff’s “That’s my dream come true. Ellie is exactly like Chuck but with ladyparts” completely cracked me up. Wasn’t helpful to Devon though.

Behind the scenes General Beckman is answering to a tribunal that says the Intersect project has been a failure. It turns out that Shaw has tricked them into following him inside a government facility: Chuck thinks he’s in the middle of a Ring base, but it turns out that Shaw is posing as a double-agent who’d been infiltrating the Ring. Chuck ends up punching Justin into the middle of the tribunal, making himself look stupid. Oh, and he finds Ellie in the same base, but his accusations sound increasingly paranoid, especially after Shaw reveals that the Intersect is messing with Chuck’s head.

With Ring operatives operating within the CIA, Chuck is put in custody and they have no idea who to trust. Casey goes on the run, while Sarah stays behind to help Chuck. Meanwhile Devon becomes Awesome again when Ellie reveals that she knows about Chuck. But he slips up by telling her more than she knows and gets interrogated. Casey gets apprehended by Justin when he goes to find his daughter Alex. His gives Justin the slip, kidnaps Alex and takes a beating from her too. He clumsily reveals that he’s her father (another Star Wars nod from Chuck?), but he’s recaptured while Alex runs away.

Chuck escapes the CIA facility with remote help from his father. Sarah begs him to stay, but he leaves with the intention of protecting her. Ultimately, Chuck’s entire team gets captured by Ring operatives: Beckman, Casey and finally Sarah. Chuck comes back with his father to find out from Ellie where the Ring headquarters are. I have to say, Ellie’s attitude to discovering Chuck is a spy is to become tearful and controlling. It’s horrible to watch, though how could Ellie have behaved any differently?

Ellie: “Morgan Grimes, the boy who took my pillow to Junior Prom as his date knows more about my family being spies than I do.”

When Chuck and his father infiltrate the Ring base, it unnerves Shaw and they race to try and capture them. gets confirmation that Shaw has the Intersect, but they’re ambushed on the way out of the building. Shaw taunts Chuck and kills his father. Yes kills Scott Bakula! Unfortunately, we saw it coming from miles off, when Stephen promised to come back and tell Ellie everything. Still, it was an abrupt kill and shocking for that. Even more shocking when we discover Ellie witnessed the whole thing.

The episode ends on a thoroughly tense note – Chuck’s thrown in the back of an armoured truck along with Sarah and Casey. They’re due to be executed by Shaw down some dusty backroad. But Ellie enlists Awesome and Morgan to follow the truck, but with no clear plan how to save Chuck. And meanwhile, Chuck is utterly depressed and desolate. Still, it was a nice moment to see Ellie raise her game (she certainly exhibits potential as a spy when she stops being all weepy) and go all-out to save her brother.

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