For a minute or so, last night's Chuck episode achieved true demented greatness. Robert Englund stares into the face of insanity — as concocted by Jeff and Lester, our favorite dancing psychopaths. Spoilers ahead.
I have to admit, all the stuff with Chuck's mom coming back left me a bit cold for some reason — maybe because Linda Hamilton seemed a bit bored as she rattled off speeches where she said things like "It pains me that I had to leave you and Ellie." (I get that she's supposed to talk in a stilted fashion, because that's who she is, but the flat delivery didn't help, sadly.) I just couldn't quite bring myself to get invested in the question of which side Mary Bartowski is on, although maybe next week this storyline will hit its stride.
But Jeff and Lester were reliably amazing, from their all-too-brief dance sequence early on, to the part where they suggest bringing in fresh corpses from the mortuary to decorate the Buy-More (and Jeff is bummed that he might lose his deposit) to the instantly classic scene where they unveil the Aisle of Terror. You don't realize at first that the Aisle of Terror scene is just the set-up for a much, much more insane sequence later in the episode, as shown above - Chuck has been dosed with a nerve toxin that's basically the Scarecrow's fear gas, and Dr. Wheelwright (Englund) drags him into the Aisle of Terror to break what's left of his sanity — only to fall victim to Jeff's parade of ultimate fears instead. Black licorice! Otters! Man feet!
Here's an extra clip that NBC released from the episode:
I didn't really get enough of Englund's Scarecrow character — he only got a couple really good scenes in there — but this one sequence is going to rank as one of my all-time favorite Chuck moments. It's just so loony that the fear-master is undone by this random collection of odd phobias, because he happens to have been swept up in the same oddball research program as Jeff was. It's the sort of extreme wrongness and lateral thinking that leads to all the best comedy.
What did you think?