I can accept the Ring mixing up Devon with Chuck based solely on the events of the previous episode, but the classic Chuck plot hole of a contained situation bothered me the most. Nobody tells anyone anything, so even if an agent of Fulcrum or the Ring makes the discovery of the century, the information doesn't get out until the heroes either kill or capture them. Agent Shaw (Brandon Routh) explains away, saying that the Ring is decentralized. Nice cop out.
This time, a Ring agent named Sydney (Angie Harmon) is certain Captain Awesome is a CIA spy, so she forces him to do a mission for him, letting him walk off without keeping track of him. This lets him go to Chuck, Sarah, and Casey for help which leads to her demise. Chuck is suppose to be a funny action show, but I would like to see some intelligence on the part of the villains. Since this is the third season, the writers seem to have made up their mind on the matter; the villains will always be stupid.
Intersect 2.0 hasn't made as much as difference on the show as the changing role of Chuck. He still can't harness the true powers of it, so it is used for comedic purposes (speaking in Cantonese, kicking Lester). With his spy training and newfound convictions, Chuck takes command, guiding Captain Awesome as Sarah once guided him, even taking out a few guys on his own. While he certainly isn't on the level of Casey or Sarah, there is a definitive direction the writers are taking him.
He's slowly being more assertive, taking charge of situations and making some rash decisions. The mix of wanting to protect his family and friends, and using his abilities as a spy has made Chuck take chances, and he only succeeds half the time. He manages to break into the CIA building for Devon quite easily, tranquing (yes, that's a word) several guards, but fails miserably once Sydney and her henchmen go to the Buy More.
Adding Shaw to the show is going to change the dynamic of the team, which could use a mix up. From what I know, he's the prototypical spy with good looks, and not a single attachment in the world. I was shocked when he pulled his gun on Sarah and Casey. He doesn't like guns and that automatically puts him at odds with Casey, but other than that, he seems very average. At the end of the episode, we see that as he spies on Chuck, his family, and friends eating dinner, he takes out a wedding ring and puts it on.
The first three episodes of the season were fairly heavy on the Sarah/Chuck mess, so I was relieved there wasn't more of that (read previous reviews for explanation). Shaw states that family and friends make spies vulnerable, and looks to Sarah for affirmation, who disagrees saying that sometimes it helps to have something to lose. In 10 seconds, the scene explained the feelings between Sarah and Chuck that are still there--something usually done in a long-winded discussion.
The Buy More antics were nonexistent in the last episode, but we got a full dose of our favorite band of nerds this week. Big Mike promotes Morgan to assistant manager, making him the new Ass Man. In an instant, he goes from being friends with the employees to their enemy. Lester, after receiving a kick from Chuck, feels alive again, and creates the Buy More Fight Club. This puts him at odds with Morgan who still wants to be friends.
Jeff destroying people in the cage was a total hoot. Here's this guy that doesn't fully have everything straight in his head, and he's just beating on his coworkers until they're black and blue. Meanwhile, Lester is the cool guy with the glasses standing there in charge of the situation.
Morgan learns from Big Mike not to take shit from the employees and takes decisive action for once, firing Lester. But then he shows his nice side, rehiring Lester as a probationary employee. It'll be fun to see how Morgan deals with his new position as Ass Man and his new underlings.
I love the camera angle that looks like it's from the perspective of the person who's being spoken to. It adds an immediate goofiness to the scene. Ellie and Awesome's facial expressions become more pronounced, adding to the humor of the situation. It also doesn't hurt that Chuck is doing crazy hand motions in the background.
This season is shaping up nicely, and I know there are people out there that don't like the loss of innocent Chuck, but I like the continued character development where Chuck isn't helpful anymore and can do things on his own. I'm sure Shaw will bump heads with Team Bartowski in more ways than one, so I'm looking forward to what's coming.