Boldly going where only a few girls have gone before. (And definitely at a slower pace.)

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Chuck Episode 1: Pilot

The show begins like a mash up between one of those shows about twenty-somethings and Mission: Impossible, as the titular Chuck celebrates his birthday with a bunch of people he doesn’t know at a party thrown by his sister, while his old Stanford roommate, Bryce Larkin, does awesome spy stuff and sends something to Chuck, via email, before getting shot and killed by Adam Baldwin. Chuck is a super-geek who works for the Nerd Herd and tells girls about his college girlfriend that Bryce stole from him, before getting him kicked out of college. What Bryce sent him is a file with a bunch of flashy images of satellite pictures and stuff. Chuck also has an annoying friend named Morgan, just for future reference.

The next day at Buy More, his place of employment, Chuck briefs the rest of the Nerd Herd on a computer virus named for a Serbian porn star. Chuck also knows, via flashy images, that some General who is supposed to be coming to California already landed the night before. It turns out that Bryce was a rogue CIA agent and the email he sent Chuck contained all the files off a computer that was designed to be the method of sharing information between the CIA and the NSA. All that information was stored in encrypted images, and now that Chuck has seen those images, it’s all in his head. Adam Baldwin is an NSA agent who was supposed to find Bryce, which he technically did, and now he has to track down Chuck.

Back at Buy More, Chuck fumbles with nerdy charm through some banter with an attractive blond customer who leaves him her card while he shows his sweet side, helping a dad and his daughter recreate a ballet recital that the dad failed to properly record. Then Chuck gets chewed out by his boss, followed by getting his ass kicked in his home by a ninja-like figure who is trying to steal his computer, which gets destroyed in the process. To no one’s surprise, the ninja turns out to be attractive blond from earlier. Unfortunately for Chuck and the ninja, the hard drive is damaged beyond repair. The following day, when he goes to a Home Depot like store to get some new locks, he sees a guy who triggers more of those flashy images in his head, and while it initially appears that the guy is going to attack him with a drill, the guy is only buying it.

It turns out that the attractive blond, who we find out is named Sarah, is a CIA agent, and she too is trying to track down the information in Bryce’s email. Incidentally, her boss is played by the guy who played Candyman, so don’t be surprised if I start referring to him as that. Sarah’s none too happy about being pulled off the case so Adam Baldwin, who she describes as a burn out while Candyman calls him a killer, can take over. She tells him to give her twelve more hours and then proceeds to ask Chuck out on a date. They genuinely seem to hit it off on their date, Sarah revealing that she too has relationship trauma in her past, until the NSA shows up to try and get Chuck. Sarah manages some cool, surreptitious knife throwing to stop them, while dancing sexy for the benefit of Chuck misdirection. Then they have a big car chase in the in the Nerd Herd-mobile, which is also pretty cool. Sarah has some nice moves, and I respect her all the more for being able to pull them off in spikey heels. Sarah tries to explain the situation to Chuck while they make their getaway, but Adam Baldwin catches up with them, because he is Adam Baldwin and therefore just that awesome.

This whole time Chuck is getting flashy images in his head relating to the general and the guy with the drill while Sarah and Adam Baldwin stand off against eachother. Having the combined intel of the NSA and the CIA in his head, Chuck figures out that there is a bomb in the hotel the general is speaking at. The three of them rush off to stop it, and Chuck is able to use his Nerd Herd skills to save the day by disabling the laptop that the bomb is hooked up to with the Serbian porn star virus. In the end, Sarah and Adam Baldwin fight over who gets control of human computer Chuck; Chuck worries about how this will effect his family and friends and why Bryce would get him involved in all this; Sarah wants Chuck to trust her; and Sarah’s ex turns out to have been Bryce. The final scene features Chuck applying for the assistant manager position at Buy More and being told to go train a new employee who turns out to be Adam Baldwin.

This was fairly promising, for a pilot. It didn’t rock my socks, but I found all the characters, save Morgan, to be likable and interesting enough to want to see more of them. The action sequences were pretty cool too. I am always on board for knife throwing and car chases. I am completely biased towards anything with Adam Baldwin in it though, and have been since even before Firefly. The sight of him in the geeky looking, green, Buy More Polo shirt is funny enough to make the entire episode for me. Well, that and Captain Awesome, who I sincerely hope the creators never decide to develop any further as a character. He’s perfect the way he is.

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