In the recap and review of Chapter 1, Volume 1 of Chew, we met Tony Chu, a cop with the Philly Police Department, who is a Chibopath – he gets psychic visions from the food he eats. This ability helped Chu crack a big case but cost him his PD career. Fortunately, FDA Federal Agent Savoy immediately hired him on as a Recruit. Stay tuned to find out how Chu’s first days as a Federal Agent went.
The Chapters of Chew generally start with a one-page Prologue.
In Chapter 2, the Prologue shows a red-Afro-headed guy, working the counter of a fast-food restaurant. An order lady is returning her burger, saying it had cheese on it (she didn’t want cheese). He told her to take it off; while I agree with him, it’s “not the proper answer”. She is also not thrilled by his answer; he relents and takes her burger, muttering the whole way. When he gets back to the kitchen, he doesn’t replace her burger; instead, he sits it on the counter, blows his nose on his finger, and prepares to put it on his customer’s burger. When he raises the bun, there is a finger on top of the hamburger.
What is it with fingers in this series?
It’s Day 1 for Agent Tony Chu, and his life is already miserable. His boss, Mike Applebee, has an irrational, intense hatred of Tony, and he wastes no time in showing said hatred by handing Tony an 8-year-deep stack of cold cases. He wants a minimum of 1 case solved every week, no exceptions.
Applebee even sees Tony’s lunch – Beet Salad – and hounds him about eating it, giving him an alternative:
Tony objects (rightly so, since the last time he ate a body part, it cost him a job and got him hounded by the FBI), Applebee is hearing none of it (since he is a jerk). The argument escalates until Agent Savoy walks in. He breaks up the confrontation, explaining to Tony that he might not like the choices he has to make as a Chibopath but it is an obligation to do them.
Savoy offers to eat the finger-burger.
He is also a Chibopath, one of only 3 knows Chibopaths.
Tony takes the finger away from Savoy and “does his job”. Gulp!
He finds out the identity of the finger’s former owner, despite Applebee’s nagging from the background.
Applebee isn’t surprised by the results… since he already knew the results before Tony ate the finger. Another instance of jerkitude on the part of Applebee. Before Tony could punch his lights out, Savoy swoops in between them. Tony simmers down, while Applebee secretly smirks and vows to “settle things later, Freakshow, maybe when your Guardian Angel isn’t around to save you”.
Tony heads to the burger joint from the Prologue, where Afrohead Teen is being ostentatiously difficult – “I don’t have to answer your questions, cop”, “my dad is a lawyer”, etc., with hios co-workers egging him on. While struggling with everything, Tony notices what I interpreted as a food reviewer, finishing her review before leaving the restaurant. Tony, briefly forgetting Afrohead Teen, was instantly smitten.
He refocuses, releases Afrohead Teen to go back to work, then makes a phone call. In reality, it was a call to Savoy, reporting on his progress. Outwardly (and loudly), it was a call to make a strike on Afrohead Teen’s family:
This gets Afrohe… er, “Daniel Cornblum”‘s attention and he does a Goonies-esque confession to Fratellis-Tony about everything from stealing money for beer and weed to co-workers having sex in the break room and not cleaning up. Savoy confesses that Evan Pepper abandoned his apartment; Daniel Cornblum admits that they had Black Market Chicken in the back and shows it to Tony.
An hour or 2 pass, and Tony and Agent Savoy are prepping to infiltrate “Sushi Ono”, a dump of a restaurant whose logo was on the containers of illegal chicken meat and the possible location of one Evan Pepper. Tony’s mind is distracted by the woman across the street: the reporter woman from the burger place. Savoy sends Tony in, undercover, while he watches things from their stakeout room.
Tony asks for “a mutual friend”, as he orders Sushi.
It does not go well.
A fight ensues, with Tony holding on for dear life. Backup arrives to save the day.
A little later, Tony and Savoy are surveying the damage. Savoy tells Tony that the stuff that happened to him in the restaurant is just “par for the course” as a Federal Agent; don’t worry about not finding Evan Pepper or what Applebee will say to you – this was ‘the end of a good day’ and “as close to a ‘happy ending’ as you might get”.
As they walk off into the moonlight, there is a meeting taking place, “somewhere”. A tall, thin guy, wearing a suit and glasses, relays the incidents of the “Sushi Ono” to someone shrouded in a hat and tan jacket or overcoat. There are frogs everywhere – on the desk, on the floor, on Tan Coat Guy’s shoulder. The tall name – named “Caesar” – has a picture of Tony (but no name… yet) that he hands over to Tan Coat Guy; Tan Coat Guy wants a name to put with the face. He also put out the word:
Another good, but strange, entry to the Chew series. The dynamic between Tony, Applebee, and Savoy (especially when Applebee and Savoy go head-to-head, which is going to happen) is pretty intriguing. I don’t know who the mystery woman is, but it feels like she’s going to impact Tony’s life soon, for better or for worse. And, of course, there is the Black Market Poultry Meat, the Ultimate Illegal Thing In Anyone’s Possession. Looking forward to Chapter 3!