Kate Ward
October 30, 2007 AT 04:33 PM EDT

Okay, so maybe I’ve been hard on Chuck the past few weeks. I know I’ve been criticizing the show lately for not jumping on the TV bandwagon to create complex season-long story arcs, much to the dismay of all you Chuck fans. So I decided that this week, I would just sit back and — as PopWatcher Patrick said last week — enjoy the popcorn that is Chuck.

And it seems all you smarty-pants out there are right. Chuck is a lot more fun if you simply don’t think too hard. Save the theorizing and scrutinizing for Lost and Heroes. Sometimes a breather from excruciating mythology is all you need to enjoy a Monday.

But I’m not going to let Chuck off too easy. There still is one facet of the show badly in need of fixing, altering or just plain extinguishing: Morgan. I know some of you defend and enjoy Joshua Gomez’s annoying but big-hearted character, but his scenes have become so tired and predictable, that part of me is secretly hoping he either gets caught in the crossfire or gets punched hard enough by Casey to get amnesia and develop a completely different personality. And though I did feel a bit bad for the guy when Chuck chastised him for being immature, I couldn’t help but cheer over the fact that somebody finally gave Morgan a wake-up call. Not to mention the fact that Chuck has yet to dip into its untapped resources — Buy More employees Anna Wu, Lester, and Jeff have delivered some great scenes and one-liners in previous episodes. Why haven’t Chuck‘s writers begun to develop their characters instead of settling for Morgan for comic relief?

Then again, for every Morgan, there is a Captain Awesome. How happy were you to see Chuck‘s best character make his triumphant return — in a fig leaf, no less? The Captain once again appealed to his philanthropic side to help Morgan become a man. Who knew all it took was a tucked-in shirt? Though Morgan’s initial attempt to become a “tucker” made him appear more Urkel than Awesome, his dapper work attire later in the episode was definitely an improvement. Perhaps we can look forward to seeing a more mature — and well-coiffed — side of Morgan in future episodes? I’m crossing my fingers.

Now, onto the spy mission of the week. If we learned anything from last night’s episode, it’s that the CIA builds everything— cars, televisions, you name it — and manufactures it all so it canexplode, or make something explode, at a moment’s notice (wonder ifSarah’s CIA-made Princess Leia costume, pictured, can do the same?). But I guessthat’s to be expected when the super-genius who designed it all is alsoan unstable mental case. Chuck first met said mental case at the pierplaying a Guitar Hero-esque game with Morgan. Thanks to Chuck’scomputer/brain, he recognized that the gamer — named Laszlo — was adangerous fugitive who was on the run from the government. But initialconversations with Laszlo — and his use of a water gun to hold up ourtitle character — led Chuck to see the troubled outsider as a sort ofemotional doppelganger — a good-natured person who was forced to jointhe CIA against his will. And after Chuck learned that Laszlo wascorrect in his assumption that the title character’s home was wired byhis handlers, he decided to side with the new guy and introduce him tosome of the best Bond films ever (A View to a Kill — goodchoice, Chuck!). But a reintegration plan went sour once Laszlounveiled his evil ways by sharing that he sympathized with ChristopherWalken’s Bond villain. Chuck called for help from Sarah and Casey, butwas outwitted by Laszlo and his Nerd Herd car’s secret controls.Realizing that Laszlo was planning on ruining a perfectly goodHalloween party with a bomb, Chuck managed to catch up, defuse thebomb, and allow the CIA to detain Laszlo.

Though early on, it seemed like we were going to see someSarah-Chuck action, all the love in last night’s episode was saved forChuck and Morgan. Neglected by his best friend because of yet anotherspy mission, Morgan once again proved his loyalty to Chuck byattempting to interview for Buy More’s assistant manager position onbehalf of his pal. Sure enough, Morgan’s plan was for naught, ascorporate decided to hire Chuck’s second most annoying character —Harry Tang — as assistant manager. (Kudos to Big Mike for hisobservation that Harry has “the charm of a prostate exam.”) But for asplit second there, I thought that Morgan’s inspired speech to thecorporate lackey would land him the assistant manager job. It certainlywould have been interesting to see Morgan suddenly have the upper handon his best bud. Even though Chuck was unable to live the dream ofbecoming low-level management, he still was able to salvage hisfriendship. After saving the partiers at the pier, Chuck proved hislove for his best friend by showing up at Ellie’s Halloween party todress up as a giant penis — ahem, excuse me, sandworm — with Morgan.Insert analysis of homoerotic subtext here.

Tell me, PopWatchers, what did you think of last night’s episode? Doyou think Chuck will ever fully trust his handlers? Are you glad thatnext week will fill in the gaps about Bryce and Chuck? And, finally,what sandwich would you bring with you if were stuck on a desertedisland?

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