Chuck

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 1 USERS: F
YOU GRADE IT
When X Is Not X

Anyway, if Jeffster keeps poking they'll compromise national security and put a CIA facility at risk, so now it's not just about her being robotic and scary but more about them actually getting too close, like in WarGames, which gives her even more grounds to destroy them utterly. But no, again Morgan's gotta do the fuckin' right thing, and stalls her one more time. "Trust me, they have the mental capacity of field mice!" Just let her kill them, Morgan. Dooooo it.

Switzerland: Rob Riggle's "magnifying the microdot," if ya know what I mean, while Chuck hashes and rehashes the whole Sarah Rock thing. Riggle points out that he's constantly screaming for Sarah whenever he's in trouble, which is fine -- "if you're a Nerd Herder" -- but that a real spy "handles his fear on his own."

For some reason Chuck goes, "Or her own," like getting nitpicking feminist isn't underscoring the entire point, which is this is all happening in Chuck's head and isn't about unreconstructed, always-at-issue gender role feelings, which always and will always be an issue for all human beings, but also the general self-image issues that we assign to gender that aren't really ever about gender:

"Are you a spy? Or are you a guy with a spy girlfriend?"

Spy, male or female, here signifies the image of an empowered person capable of extreme feats, self-protection, and most of all possibilities and a future. Letting somebody, anybody, come in and scoop it just because you're used to a safety net is equally as embarrassing for a woman or a man, because it means you're not ready for actual equality, which in a relationship means give and take, rather than protection.

Which -- and it took two seasons, both parents, and Ellie getting married to get us to this place -- brings it back around to a nonromantic, nonsexual, non-gendered reiteration of that same issue: X isn't Y's equal without the Intersect but X can't have the Intersect until X becomes Y's equal. Which takes Y out of the conversation altogether and says, "X can't have the Intersect until X has the Intersect," and the only way to do that is work the math so that X sub 1 equals X sub 2, which he only rarely does at this point, due to him equating Spy with the Intersect rather than being a skilled human being.

In other words, x != X until Chuck realizes all spies are Batman, not Superman.

Except for Chuck. (Well, and Sarah's constant flow of hot, dark-haired homosexual boyfriends that somehow also end up with the Intersect, but we can talk about those next week.) Which is why this is absolutely my favorite storyline of the entire show that doesn't include Bryce Larkin, because it's the only conceit of the show that absolutely must be ripped apart at some point: What does Superman do without Earth's yellow sun, except find new ways to be super?

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Chuck

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