Zacharylevi_chuck_s2_240 What's the scariest place to live? A war zone? A crime-riddled city? A rural locale straight out of Deliverance? Not according to Chuck — they make the case that the most god-forsaken place on the planet comes with manicured lawns, weenies on the grill, and Andy Richter as a next-door neighbor. Aieeeee!

When a former agent turns up in a mental ward babbling about salamanders, it's time for Chuck, Sarah and Casey to go undercover — in The Valley. Chuck and Sarah pose as a young married couple to try to figure out which of the neighbors is part of a terrorist cell. I immediately suspect Andy Richter, if only because he's entirely TOO cheery and welcoming. Plus, he's Andy Richter — why bring him on board if he's not going to be eeeevil?

Fortunately, the neighborhood cougar is there to liven things up. Sylvia (Jenny McCarthy) invites "Charles Carmichael" over to her place for a little hanky panky, which Chuck rejects — he doesn't want to cheat on his wife. But Sylvia's husband is linked to a Fulcrum bug found under the brownies (is NOTHING sacred?), so Sarah gives him the go-ahead — it's all about the mission, no matter how much fun she looked like she was having cooking breakfast and playing house. Chuck meets Sylvia in her lair, and is handcuffed to the bed for his pains. He uses his prehensile toes to snag the keys, then goes searching for the computer that needs a massive data cable for no apparent reason (because seriously, there's only so much porn one suburban husband can download, right? Don’t answer that…) When he finds the computer, he triggers a very Intersect-like test, but with more sinister imagery. He wakes up with Fulcrum secrets in his head, and narrowly escapes the house in his boxer shorts, t-shirt and fuzzy red handcuffs.

General Beckman removes Chuck from the case, but there's a problem — Chuck flashes on his new Fulcrum data and realizes that the entire subdivision is a Fulcrum project. He runs back to rescue Sarah and Casey, but it's too late — they've already been taken. What's more, the Fulcrumites want to poke around Chuck's brain with their new Intersect-like technology — he's the first test subject who survived with his brain intact! Time for phase two — a full-on Fulcrum data dump into Chuck's brain. If Chuck survives this, they're golden! At first, it looks like Chuck is fried (much to Sarah's dismay) but he snaps out of his stupor — and seems curiously unmoved by the fate of Agent Walker. Has Chuck been brainwashed to the other side? As if! He sees that Casey has gotten out of his restraints (lucky his thumb breaks so easily, and it’s nice to see that Casey is willing to take his own advice) and is ready to feed the Fulcrumites a taste of their own medicine. Chuck guards Sarah's eyes while the images flash, and the Fulcrumites either die or have their brains melted.

So all is well with Chuck and Sarah, right? They got to play house and bond and express their repressed love for each other…. or not. When General Beckman reminds Sarah that Chuck is in more danger than ever — he's got the government's AND Fulcrum's Intersects in his head now — Sarah backs off on the relationship and tells Chuck they have to be strictly business. Chuck realizes — and tells a heartbroken Ellie — that he and Sarah are never going to be anything more than they are now.

The Buy Morons
Markchristopherlawrence_chuck_s2_240 Something is amiss at the Buy More — Big Mike wants his staff to actually work! The Buy Morons theorize that he's a replacement Big Mike robot sent from the future, but Chuck discovers it's just that his heart is broken — Lady Big Mike filed for divorce, which means that he has nothing left but his store.

The Buy Morons (plus Emmet — strange bedfellows indeed) hook Big Mike up with Internet dating, and their plan seems to work — he meets a lady who takes him to the dizzying heights of ecstasy. But that's not enough to distract him from his store, not even when the lady in question sashays in. He admits he's a Buy More manager, not a shipping magnate, and she admits that she left something off her profile — she has a son, and he works at the store. That, of course, is Morgan. Aieeeee!

Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends

  • The CIA provided Chuck and Sarah with everything they needed to fit into suburban life — including a cover dog. Now that's thorough!
  • Chuck and Sarah have a cover date on Valentine's day. It doesn't go well. They speculate that someone must be having a worse time — and we cut to Casey, swigging Scotch and watching war documentaries. Thing is, I think Casey is perfectly happy with that.
  • We know something is horribly wrong with big Mike when he pitches one of Emmet's homemade cupcakes. We know something is horribly wrong with Emmet when he shows up wearing a hideous toupee.
  • Chuck tries to dress for the 'burbs, and rejects his "Cowbell Hero" t-shirt. Wants it!
  • Kudos one again to the music mavens on the show. Yes, The Talking Heads' Once in a Lifetime wasn't exactly a groundbreaking choice, but it still rocks. Plus, that really isn't Chuck's beautiful wife!
  • Ditto Peggy Lee singing "Fever" as Sylvia's theme song. Nicely done.
  • The Buy Morons attempt to deal with Big Mike's pain: "Where DO you meet people you don't have to pay for sex? " Emmet muses. Everyone is stumped.
  • Ah, internet dating. First, the Buy Morons choose "Lando Calrissian" as Big Mike’s user name. Then, they explain "the internet hotness conversion factor": "Everyone is taller and thinner online," Morgan says.
  • Chuck tries to be smooth when chatting up Sylvia. She says she's surprised to see him come over so soon. "Charles Carmichael always comes quickly," Chuck says suavely. Um, yeah, that.
  • Was that Brian Thompson (who will always be the Alien Bounty Hunter from X-Files to me) as Sylvia's husband?
Posted by:Sarah Jersild