Captain Awesome: Nobody Does It Better! Review Episode 3.03: Chuck Vs The Angel de la Muerte

Written by Phil Klemmer
Directed by Jeremy Chechik

Awesome is as Awesome does. And Awesome pretty well can do it all.
With the Angel de la Muerte the payoff for Devon finding out about Chuck being a spy last season is realized. Must be tough being Devon aka Captain Awesome. Everything comes to him so easily. From scoring with Ellie shortly after they first meet to becoming a doctor to mastering extreme sports to speaking other languages to being a straight arrow that accepts his gifts as matter of fact without being an insufferable cretin as would be expected. It is this mixture of awesomeness and matter of factness that has made Devon a fan favorite when he could have easily be turned into a caricuture.

What is so tough about so many high levels of competencies? Finding new challenges. In the grip of post wedding blues Ellie and Devon are fumbling looking for ways to reignite their zest for life. Devon finds his chance in the spy world when he treats a Premier from Costa Gravis – a fictional country named after the writer – played with hammy zeal by Armand Assante. Grateful for his treatment Goya invites Devon and Ellie to his embassy for a gala dinner. Insinuating himself as an invitee allows Chuck and Sarah to attend the ball with the hidden purpose of providing protection.
Devon informs Chuck that the Premier was poisoned and this intel sparks Beckman to assign Team Bartowski to protect Goya as the country is in the process of being a democracy. Casey has to stay in the car as he is known as the Angel of Death in Costas Gravas – even though he has three failed previous assasination attempts on Goya.
If there is any doubt that the showrunners have been strolling through forums and blogs word browsing this episode puts it to rest. The simultaneous conversations between Chuck and Devon on one side of the room and Sarah and Ellie on the other take many fan complaints and has fun with them. Particularly Devon’s, ‘Excruciating,’ comment to Chuck about no sex. What is really great about this sequence is how at ease the four actors are with each other. Plus we finally get a long overdue Sarah/Ellie scene! Hopefully only the first of more to come.
The ball proves to be a slightly more complicated protection detail when Goya displays an open attraction to Ellie that puts her in harm’s way of a would be assassin. Chuck flashes on some mad dancing skills and he and Sarah twirl their way across the dance floor to intercept him only to find out it is a false alarm. They are kicked out of the embassy forcing Casey out of the van. Misreading the situation and mistaking a Mario Brothers lookalike disguised Casey, Devon takes him out blowing Casey’s cover.
This leads to the rescue of Casey and the saving of the twice poisoned Ambassador via a reluctant blood donation from Casey. Thus the Angel of Death becomes the Angel of Life. Too bad the Premier’s thanks was done in a voice over instead of having Assante on stage to do this scene with Adam Baldwin. The interplay between the two would have been priceless.
Episode Flashes:

  • Devon/Ellie closet makeout scene including Ellie’s lucky sweater
  • Devon/Ellie making out within moments of meeting each other. Poor Chuck and Sarah.
  • Chuck returning from an unseen mission with the helicopter flying too close to home
  • Devon switching effortlessly from English to Spanish during a news conference
  • Devon scaring Chuck in his bedroom and Chuck unable to do so later on in the courtyard
  • Armand’s letcherous ways and dance scenes with Sarah Lancaster
  • shirtless sweaty Devon for the ladies again.
  • sweaterless Ellie for the guys – for the first time! No sweat though.
  • Casey’s fight scene with hypodermic needle filled with poison stuck in his leg
  • Casey listing Goya’s favourite movie and showering habits
  • Sarah putting weapons in a bag and Chuck taking them out as she plans to storm the embassy in a solo rescue mission to save Casey

Finally this episode sets up the relationship landscape for the third season. The handshake scene near the end between Chuck and Sarah is rife with multiple emotions and bears much rewatching. Compare this one to the one from S1. In S1 it is a handshake between two giddy children. In this one it is between adults. There is an air of maturity, loss, and recently learned lessons. For the first time in the series the two of them seem like adults.
There is regret in that handshake. Sarah wants to keep it simple. She is willing to try again but wants to start from a real place this time. She needs time to heal and she needs to be in this place for now so she can properly protect Chuck and the world from Intersect 2.0.
Chuck accepts her offer but there is an air about him of a lost opportunity and the realization that his calling has come at a high price.
This is borne out in the final scene when Sarah brings Chuck bad news about Devon. She gives him a hug that is simultaneously intense, gentle and intimate. It is not quite a gesture of comfort from a life partner but it is much more than that of just a friend.
It is a moment of sobering reality and Sarah acts accordingly.
All in all a very solid episode that only disappoints by not having a proper closing scene for Armand Assante.

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