The up-and-down nature of the current season of ‘Chuck’ continued last week with an underwhelming episode that just didn’t live up to its potential. On the other hand, the episode had a scene featuring Sarah in a bubble bath. So, ultimately, all is forgiven.
The main plot of ‘Chuck vs. Agent X’ sees the return of Ray Wise as the Volkoffs’ evil attorney, Riley. He’s joined by a hottie hench-chick named Jasmine (India de Beaufort). They’re on the hunt for the laptop that Chuck’s father left to Ellie, which contains information on “Agent X,” who is supposedly the only threat standing in the way of the Volkoff empire’s return to glory. Since the laptop’s data is all about the development of the Intersect, Chuck naturally assumes that he must be Agent X.
With their big wedding only weeks away, it’s time for Chuck and Sarah to have their bachelor and bachelorette parties respectively. Awesome is in charge of Chuck’s shindig. Morgan and the Buy More boys gear up for a weekend of ‘Hangover’-style debauchery in Vegas, only to learn that Awesome is actually taking them to Las Vecas National Park for camping and nature hikes.
Ellie tells Sarah that she’s planning a much more low-key (read: boring) spa weekend. Sarah smiles but frankly dreads the prospect. Fortunately, it’s all a fake-out and Ellie really throws a regular party and invites all of Sarah’s old co-workers from her Weinerlicious days (which is weird, because we never saw anyone other than Sarah working at Weinerlicious). Ellie even arranges for S.W.A.T. Team male strippers.
Due to a mix-up, Awesome accidentally brings Ellie’s bag with him on the camping trip. Riley and Jasmine track the laptop to the park and raid the camp, capturing Jeff, who’s tripping so hard on psychedelic mushrooms that he thinks it’s all part of the bachelor party entertainment. Casey single-handedly takes out the entire squad of mercenaries, forcing Riley and Jasmine to retreat. Unfortunately, the laptop is damaged in the ruckus.
Chuck returns home and decides that it’s finally time to confess to Ellie that he’s still a spy. He even brings her to Castle and demonstrates the Intersect in action. Ellie is amazed. However, when he tells her that this means he’s Agent X, she says that can’t be possible. Agent X was their father’s very first attempt to create an Intersect, which happened before Chuck was even born.
Chuck manages to repair the laptop enough to dig up some data revealing that Agent X was sent undercover and lost his original personality in the process. He eventually became his cover identity. Clues point to a house in England that may hold some answers.
Team Bartowski jets off to England and meets an old lady who turns out to be the mother of Agent X, originally a boy named Hartley Winterbottom. Just then, Riley launches an ambush. Mamma Winterbottom whips out a giant machine gun, which impresses Casey mightily. When Jasmine and a bunch of mercenaries storm the house, the old lady leads the team out the back and blows the whole place up, killing Jasmine. Riley gets away again, however.
Chuck and the gang return to Castle with some sort of strange disc-shaped lock box the old lady gave them. Upon opening it, they discover a photo of… BUM BUMM BUMMMMM… Alexei Volkoff. Yes, Volkoff is Hartley Winterbottom, aka Agent X, the original Intersect, and he doesn’t even know it. Realizing how dangerous this information is, Casey advises that they lock it away and pretend that they never heard it.
In the end, ‘Chuck vs. Agent X’ has a decent final twist, but the main story isn’t all that exciting. I also have a really hard time believing that Awesome would be so oblivious about the Vecas/Vegas mix-up or what the boys expected from the bachelor party. (Why would he rent a stretch Hummer to take them to a park?) This seems like an awfully big stretch for a lame joke – one that’s repeated later when Big Mike, Jeff and Lester drive to “Reno,” which turns out to actually be Renéaux, British Columbia.
It’s not a terrible episode or anything, but all the same, I’m hoping for better from the next one.
[Banner image screen cap from ChuckTV.net.]