Yvonne Strahovski in CHUCK - Season 4 - "Vs. Agent X" |©2011 NBC/Adam Rose

Yvonne Strahovski in CHUCK - Season 4 - "Vs. Agent X" |©2011 NBC/Adam Rose

Stars: Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Adam Baldwin, Joshua Gomez, Vic Sahay, Scott Krinsky, Sarah Lancaster, Ryan McPartlin, Mark Christopher Lawrence, Bonita Friedericy
Writer: Phil Klemmer & Craig DiGregorio
Director: Robert Duncan McNeill
Network: NBC, airs Monday nights
Original Telecast: May 2, 2011

In what’s been one of the most anticipated CHUCK episode, “Vs. Agent X” finally reveals the surprising secret of who Agent X is.

As it’s been teased for weeks, Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) uncovered files on her dad’s old computers about an Agent X, who was actually an early, beta-version of the Intersect.

Volkoff’s daughter Vivian (Lauren Cohan) has an agenda too – Agent X is one of her father’s most hated enemies. Once she destroys him, she will have no more troubles and now Riley (Ray Wise) and his super-assassin chick Jasmine (India de Beaufort) have located the computer and are closing in. Naturally they’re thwarted by our good guys.

Chuck (Zachary Levi), Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski), Casey (Adam Baldwin) and Morgan (Joshua Gomez) discover information on the computer (with assist from big sis Ellie played by Sarah Lancaster) that leads them to England where Agent X is from and they find secret documents that reveal his true identity, which is …

SPOILER ALERT …

Hartley Winterbottom aka Alexei Volkoff (Timothy Dalton). He was a scientist who despised guns and was the first Intersect (and a good friend of Chuck’s dad). His cover identity consumed him and he ended up becoming one of the most ruthless bad guys ever. Wait until Vivian discovers the truth.

I have to say, the twist was a good one – with tons of red herrings throughout the episode (I kept thinking Agent X might be Ellie). Hats off the producers for pulling the wool over my eyes (and likely everyone else’s). It’s so obvious, yet so right.

Meanwhile, other major events occur during “Vs. Agent X” namely Chuck confiding in Ellie that he still works for the CIA. She’s not that mad him (surprisingly) and it’s her assistance that leads the team to England.

Adam Baldwin, Joshua Gomez, Zachary Levi and Ryan McPartlin in CHUCK - Season 4 - "Vs. Agent X" |©2011 NBC/Chris Haston

Adam Baldwin, Joshua Gomez, Zachary Levi and Ryan McPartlin in CHUCK - Season 4 - "Vs. Agent X" |©2011 NBC/Chris Haston

It’s about time that Ellie, being the last person in Chuck’s close circle, learned the truth of who and what he is. And it adds a nice wrinkle into the mix too if the show continues past this year (which us CHUCK fans are praying will happen). After all, Ellie is a computer whiz kid and puzzle solver and she could make a nice asset to Team Bartowski.

Yes, “Agent X” is a pretty damn good episode filled with some very funny gags like Captain Awesome (Ryan McPartlin) taking Chuck to Las Vecas for his bachelor party (it’s a park in Nevada, not the city of Sin). Big Mike (Mark Christopher Lawrence) also confides in Morgan “That’s the greatest thing a white person’s ever done for me” after Morgan figures out a way to sneak him off to Vegas and not tell his mom (and Big Mike’s fiancée) the truth.

There’s even a rather prescient moment in the first few minutes where Casey brings along his favorite “target practices” to Vegas and it happens to be that of Osama Bin Laden. Thank goodness NBC didn’t censor this in light of Osama’s recent death..

CHUCK is at its best when it mixes the whimsy with solid storytelling and “Vs. Agent X” delivers. While there is a bit of exhaustion with all the characters’ secret identities and aliases (and someone being a bad guy, then a good guy, etc.), at least they didn’t try to shove someone like Jeff (Mark Krinsky) turning out to be Agent X down our throats (that would have been an atrocity against everything we’ve known and loved about the show from Day 1).

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