'Chuck': Timothy Dalton is a master of deception

chuck-vs-first-fight-320.jpgMaybe we should've seen it coming when Timothy Dalton's character disappeared from the bank, or when Ellie heard about the blue leather seats in her dad's old car.

But we wanted to trust Mary Bartowski the way her son does, and we were loving the way Dalton was playing against type so much that when the big moment came, this episode of "Chuck" left us with eyes popped and jaws hanging on the floor.

The revelation that Dalton is not, in fact, Mary's MI-6 handler was one of the best twists the show has ever thrown at us, and capped off an episode that had healthy doses of comedy (much of it furnished by Dalton himself), a couple of solid action sequences and a great emotional scene between Linda Hamilton and Sarah Lancaster. That, plus a sweet '68 Mustang adds up to probably the best episode of the season thus far and one of the better ones in all four seasons.

(Here come the spoilers for those of you who haven't watched yet.)

So Dalton is not MI-6 handler Gregory Tuttle, but none other than Volkoff himself. (Kudos to team "Chuck," by the way, for keeping the character's real identity under wraps.) Mary Bartowski, whatever her agenda may be, is working with him. Chuck is Intersect-less thanks to his mom, and as far as he knows, all his father's research has been blown to bits.

The key phrase in that last sentence is "as far as he knows": The car that Ellie and Awesome picked up is not just a well-preserved '68 Mustang convertible, but a well-preserved '68 Mustang convertible with some very sophisticated technology riding under those specially ordered blue leather seats. Did anyone else half-expect Ellie to get Intersected when she turned the key? (Not saying that would've been good for the show; just saying it wouldn't have been a shock.)

"Chuck vs. the First Fight" sets up an enormous number of possibilities for the remainder of the season. Mary and Volkoff are in the wind for now (Hamilton and Dalton aren't scheduled to be back on the show until the end of the month), and despite her plea to Sarah to "protect him," Mary's motives are very much in question now. How does Chuck deal with that, in addition to having to work without the Intersect? When's he going to find out about Ellie's car and whatever may be in it? Does this mean Ellie will get fully drawn into Chuck-world in the near future?

We can't wait to see how it all plays out (although we'll have to; the show is off next week before returning Nov. 15). Thank goodness we'll have a full season to see what happens.

Here's a clip from "Chuck vs. the First Fight" (it will go live after the 8 p.m. PT airing of the show). What did you think of the episode, and the big events at the end?



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Photo credit: NBC
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