I don’t want to be the guy pouring cold water over this action and guest star packed Halloween episode of Chuck, but it was pretty uneven.
There was a lot to cram in, for a start. Chuck was meeting his mother for the first time and we flip-flopped endlessly between trusting and distrusting her. So much so that by the end of the episode I was dizzy with all the u-turns in the script.
Morgan and Casey got a mini-mission of their own in which Casey used Morgan as a trouble-magnet. Ellie’s mother-in-law arrived for a week-long visit (yawn) and Jeff and Lester were tasked with decorating the Buy More for Halloween.
The thrust of the episode was Robert Englund’s guest turn as a scientist who develops a nerve gas that induces waking nightmares – a sweet tip of the fedora to his iconic role as Freddie Kreuger. He’s the leverage that Chuck’s mother uses to prove that she’s with the good guys, but within a matter of minutes, she’s double-crossed Chuck in a weapons deal.
Englund’s appearance gives the story plenty of scope to play with Halloween, but it was disappointing when he was eventually vanquished by Jeff and Lester’s pathetic Aisle Of Terror.
Unfortunately, we’re never completely sure whether Chuck’s mother is really deep undercover, or if it’s a convenient lie that she’s telling. Little things point to the fact that she’s telling the truth about her feelings for Chuck and Ellie – like when she tailed Ellie to the toy shop and watched her from a distance. My feeling at this stage is that we’re about to experience another u-turn in the plot. We’ll probably find out that the information Casey and Sarah were given was falsified.
The big finale was the high point for me though – Chuck’s about to re-introduce his mother to Ellie after years, but she’s suddenly abducted by masked figures in a blacked out van. Chuck unmasks one of them, and it turns out to be Sarah. How’s she ever going to recover from kidnapping Chuck’s mother?
It was a nice moment for Zachary Levi as Chuck, when he walked back into the restaurant after witnessing his girlfriend kidnap his mother. All those conflicting emotions and not quite knowing what it all meant.
While that was a nice end to the journey though, there were bits that didn’t make any sense – like why Chuck and Sarah relaxed their guard around Dr Wheelright and weren’t wearing their gas masks from the outset when they released him from the cell. I can understand Chuck making that mistake, but Sarah is a career spy. It doesn’t make sense how often she chooses to trust her adversaries.
Morgan: “Once I turn on the charisma, I can’t turn it off. It’s a curse.”
Morgan: “I love our little give and take, classic Ross and Rachel.”
Chuck: “My mom shot me.”
Casey: “So…two fugitives and a dangerous weapon on the loose. Go team!”
Jeff: “I know a really good morgue that gives discounts on unclaimed merchandise. Maybe we can sprinkle some cold, dead ones around here.”