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'Chuck' recap: It takes two to tango

Season 1 | Episode 3 | “Chuck Versus the Tango” | Aired Oct 8, 2007

In the third episode of Chuck, an ugly painting is stolen, old computers are fixed, and Chuck goes on his first official mission. We open in Tehran, where a man is shot over said ugly painting. The stolen painting ends up in Madrid, where the thief is killed again, and then in an L.A. museum, where the thief (again) is shot and killed. What’s up with this painting?

At the Buy More, Big Mike (Mark Christopher Lawrence) pulls Chuck aside. There is an assistant manager position open, and it’s between Chuck and Harry Tang (C.S. Lee). Big Mike tells Chuck that the Nerd Herders need to fix all of the old broken computers in the storage cage or Harry Tang will get the job.

Chuck explains their task to him team, and after some brainstorming for a team name (I love Jeff’s suggestion: Chuck’s Stable of Hoes), the Nerd Herders get to work—until Chuck is called to the home theater room by Sarah and Casey. They show him some photos of our murdered art thieves, but they are interrupted by Jeff. As Jeff leaves, Chuck flashes on a photo of the ugly painting in his newspaper. An elusive and dangerous arms dealer named La Ciudad is going to an art auction.

Sarah and Casey are ordered to take down La Ciudad at the auction. Casey wants to take Chuck with them; since no one knows what La Ciudad looks like, the Intersect may be the only way to find him. Sarah thinks it’s too dangerous, but General Beckman disagrees. Chuck is going to the auction, and according to Casey, he needs to know how to tango.

Chuck asks Ellie for dance lessons, but Captain Awesome volunteers. Clad only in a robe, Awesome teaches Chuck to tango, complete with dips and ass grabs. Chuck also needs a cover for his first mission, and we get our first mention of Charles Carmichael. Chuck tells Sarah that Charles Carmichael is a successful, rich software creator—and it was his dream before Bryce ruined it.

Back the Buy More, the Nerd Herders are working away in the storage cage. They’re almost done when Harry Tang shows up with hard drives he was hoarding to sabotage Chuck. Now Chuck’s Stable of Hoes the Nerd Herders are screwed. Jeff, Lester, and Anna (Julia Ling) decide to head home and leave the extra work for Chuck, but Morgan convinces them to stay. No one wants Harry Tang as assistant manager.

Things are going just as smoothly for Chuck at the auction. He drops food on his shirt first thing and heads to the bathroom to clean up. Chuck flashes on a man at the next sink (who is the last shooter from the opening scene) and runs back to Sarah. He’s found La Ciudad.

While Chuck waits at the bar with Casey, Sarah chats up La Ciudad. Her flirting game must be off, because she is led away at gunpoint, and Casey rushes off to help. On the roof, “La Ciudad” wants to know who Sarah is working for, but Casey bursts in. The man from the bathroom is not La Ciudad. He’s MI6, and they’re tracking La Ciudad too.

Chuck, from the bar, sees the ugly painting and flashes. The thieves haven’t been stealing the painting; they’ve been stealing the frame—and the plutonium hidden inside. While Chuck is “admiring” the painting, a beautiful woman named Malena comes over to talk.

When a tango comes on, Malena asks Chuck to dance. Chuck can tango, but unfortunately, Awesome taught Chuck the girl’s part of the dance. Malena has to lead. After an elegant dip, Chuck flashes on a scar on Malena’s neck. She is La Ciudad.

By the time Sarah and Casey get back to the party, Chuck is gone. He is tied up in Malena’s hotel room. She threatens to have Chuck thrown out the window if he doesn’t explain what he wants with the painting. Chuck says he thinks the painting is a fake because there was a different frame. Malena believes Chuck’s excuse, but she still has to kill him since he’s seen her face.

Thankfully, Casey and Sarah burst in. They save Chuck, but Malena gets away. And she swiped Chuck’s employee ID, so she knows exactly where to find him.

Back at the Buy More, Morgan has accidentally locked himself in the storage cage—and he’s afraid of old computers. Since the Nerd Herders don’t have a key, they go home. Morgan can’t reach Chuck; he’s trapped. When Chuck gets Morgan’s message, he rushes to the Buy More. Chuck frees Morgan before pulling an all-nighter to finish the repairs, impressing Big Mike.

But then Chuck sees Malena’s goons looking for him, and Sarah passes Malena (dressed as a delivery woman) in the parking lot. She’s headed to the Wienerlicious roof with a rifle.

Casey takes out the henchmen (one gets a microwave to the face), and Sarah fights with Malena on the roof. They’ve finally caught La Ciudad, and Chuck has survived his first mission. Later that night, Sarah congratulates Chuck, and Charah (their ship name, for the uninformed) has a moment.

This episode has a lot of great brother-sister moments between Ellie and Chuck too. Ellie is excited for Chuck’s possible promotion at the Buy More, but she thinks he could be doing more. And when Chuck seems less than thrilled with his blossoming “relationship” with Sarah, Ellie wants to talk about it, but Chuck will only say that it’s complicated.

103 (5)Chuck apologizes later. He doesn’t want Ellie to get her hopes up about a relationship that seems doomed (since it’s not actually real).  Chuck says he doesn’t think Sarah is into him, but Ellie disagrees. And if Chuck likes Sarah, that’s all Ellie needs to know. The real takeaway from this episode is that we should all aspire to be the kind of Charah shipper that Ellie Bartowski is.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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