(SPOILERS) I really don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner. Chuck has quickly become my favorite show on television, and it’s past third season only made things better with a stellar execution of a potentially disastrous plot line, some great continuation of the Chuch/Sarah romance, some seriously amazing character development and still maintaining all that stellar Chuck action and humor we all know and love. Up until the beginning of this season Chuck had the intersect in his mind, and worked like a portable human database, whenever he saw something the intersect had a file on, he’d flash and know everything about it. Towards the end of the second season Chuck’s sister Ellie was married, Chuck’s father had removed the intersect, and Chuck had downloaded the newest Intersect into his brain in order to save Sarah and Casey. The third season introduced the idea that not only can the intersect give you information, it can also give you skills. They sorta follow this idea and they use it a lot as a basic plot thread excellently for the first 9 or 10 episodes, giving us some basic missions and having a fun time with the idea, all the while balancing Chuck’s relationship with Hannah. They also had some real fun with Captain Awesome knowing about Chuck’s secrets. The first two-three episodes were a tad bit rocky but then everything found it’s balance. Then things got a little heavier giving Chuck a new arc of wanting to really become a spy, and that coincided with the eventual villain that was Shaw. After the climax 1/2 way through the season Chuck started on a few more minor missions for a couple of episodes after introducing the notion that Morgan figures out about Chuck’s spy life, and that Chuck and Sarah were finally together. Then things start to turn for the worse again for Chuck when his mind started to go into a mind meltdown from an intersect overload. Christopher Lloyd guest starred in an episode or two as a psychiatrist, and that all leads back up into the final climax with Chuck’s dad’s death, the final showdown with Shaw, solving Chuck’s mental problems, and giving us the idea that Chuck’s long lost Mother, and perhaps even more of his family, were involved in the spy business just like his father, giving us some great potential for the fourth season.
The thing I really liked about this season was that it does balance so much, it introduces so much, it ramps up the scale a lot in a few cases by giving Chuck these powers in a sense, but it still retains that sense that we’re still watching the good ol’ Chuck we all love, and the show doesn’t fall where others would with all this pressure, but it makes the show stronger. Season 2 is still my favorite, but this season doesn’t disappoint where other shows (cough *Heroes* cough) have faltered a little bit in the third go-round. We get more of that dynamic between Chuck and Morgan, more of the Buy More shenanigans and Big Mike, more of the Chuck/Casey banter on missions, more (and finally a temporary resolution) to the Chuck/Sarah romance, and so so much more. This was a huge season for character development. Chuck and Sarah are together, the Captain, Ellie, and Morgan all know Chuck’s secret, we get to connect more with Casey thanks to the really touching plotline of him having a daughter, and it’s all done to near perfection. There are a few snags and lags in the season (at the very beginning and right after Shaw’s first death) that are a little disappointing, but the rest of it works so well it’s hard to complain when so much of the other stuff is so darn good. We get to see Jeffster perform “Fortunate Son”, “Love Hurts”, and “Blaze of Glory”, an elimination of a seriously annoying character, a Buy More rebellion, we got to see Captain Awesome be awesome, and we got to see Casey floor a guy through a kitchen, it’s all coming together as one of the best shows on television. It’s like it’s a show made by people that really really love their jobs, and want to make a show that’s just all around enjoyable. Highly highly highly recommended.