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'Chuck' recap: It's Chinatown

Season 1 | Episode 5 | “Chuck Versus the Sizzling Shrimp” | Aired Oct 22, 2007

In episode five of Chuck, the titular character is juggling the complicated aspects of his new spy life, and he is dropping the ball. He hasn’t been spending much time with Morgan lately, so his best friend has planned “An Evening of Morgan” so that the guy sand Sarah can all hang out together.

But before An Evening of Morgan begins, we see a man kidnapped outside the Chinese consulate. He’s thrown into a delivery van for a restaurant called Bamboo Dragon.

Besides kidnapping, the Bamboo Dragon is known for their excellent sizzling shrimp, and Chuck, Morgan, and Sarah are headed there to pick up takeout before a viewing of Enter the Dragon. Sarah and Morgan are bonding, and boy, does Chuck know how to develop secondary relationships. When they arrive at Bamboo Dragon, the restaurant is closed for a private party, so they head straight into the kitchen. (Morgan knows a dishwasher.) But the night ends early when Chuck flashes on a waitress. She’s a Chinese spy named Mei-Ling Cho. She takes priority, and Chuck and Sarah swap “An Evening of Morgan” for “An Evening of Reading Mei-Ling’s Files.”

The next morning, Ellie reminds Chuck that they have plans tomorrow—the Bartowskis’ October version of Mother’s Day—and he promises not to miss it. But tonight, Chuck is going on a stakeout to watch Mei-Ling.

Meanwhile, at the Buy More, sales are down, so Big Mike is instigating a 24-hour sales competition for the green shirts (including Morgan and Casey). The winner gets an iPhone; the loser gets fired. It turns out that Morgan is a terrible salesperson. He begs Chuck to help him, and Chuck promises to try and wrap up his Sarah plans early.

During the stakeout that night, Team Chuck spots an old man in a wheelchair. Ben Lo Pan owns half of Chinatown, and Mei-Ling is following him. So Team Chuck follows her. When Ben Lo enters a building, Mei-Ling goes in after him. Chuck flashes on the guns she’s carrying. She’s not here on a spy mission—she’s here to assassinate Ben Lo.

Casey and Sarah tell Chuck to wait in the car while they go in to stop Mei-Ling. During the gunfight inside, Ben Lo rolls his wheelchair to freedom. Chuck spots him and helps him get to his car. And while Chuck is playing Good Samaritan, Ben Lo is unsubtly stashing the kidnapped man from earlier into his trunk.

Mei-Ling rushes out to see Ben Lo driving off, and she turns on Chuck. Why did he help him? Ben Lo is Chinese mafia and Mei-Ling was trying to rescue her brother. Whoops.

It turns out that the Chinese government didn’t sign off on a rescue mission to save Mei-Ling’s brother, Lee Cho. Since Mei-Ling disobeyed orders, there’s nothing Casey and Sarah can do to help her. But Chuck can. Mei-Ling calls the Buy More and tells Chuck that he owes her for helping Ben Lo escape.

Chuck goes back to Sarah and Casey with a plan: If they can get Mei-Ling to defect, could they help her rescue her brother? Casey doesn’t think it will happen, but agrees. When Chuck lets slip that Mei-Ling contacted him at the Buy More, Casey and Sarah rush off to look for her.

Mei-Ling holds Chuck hostageWhen Chuck goes to the storage cage to sign for a delivery, he finds Mei-Ling, and she has a gun. Chuck tells her about the defecting plan, and when Casey begrudgingly agrees, Mei-Ling consents to their help.

The three spies share intel about their rescue mission while Chuck and Ellie get ready for Mother’s Day. It’s been too long since just the two of them have hung out, and Chuck promises that he’s all Ellie’s for the evening. Until his phone rings.

It’s Casey, and Ellie tells Chuck to go as long as he’s back for dinner. Chuck gets roped into the mission last minute to monitor surveillance cameras from the van. All is going well until Chuck loses the video feed. Ben Lo surrounds the spies, and now he has Casey and Sarah, too.

Casey tells Chuck over his com to go home and don’t do anything. But Chuck, of course, doesn’t listen. He recognizes the Bamboo Dragon delivery van and he follows them to the restaurant. Chuck is definitely going to miss dinner.

Over at the Buy More, Morgan asks Jeff and Lester for help making his sales goal—notoriously a bad idea—and they somehow manage to lose Morgan both a sale and a phone number. Morgan heads to Chuck’s, but a disappointed Ellie is the only one home. Chuck stood her up without even calling. They commiserate together about missing Chuck, and Morgan tells Ellie about his impending firing.

Chuck Versus the Sizzling ShrimpIn Chinatown, Chuck lures the guards from the Bamboo Dragon outside by tossing some illegal fireworks into the delivery van. While they’re distracted, he releases the three spies and Lee. Chuck and Lee hide, the spies fight, and this time, Chuck stops Ben Lo Pan from escaping.

When Chuck finally makes it home, Ellie is waiting up. She knows that Chuck is in love, but they can’t lie to each other. Chuck asks if they can reschedule Mother’s Day for tomorrow, and he promises (again) to be there.

The next day, Morgan’s job at the Buy More is saved by Ellie’s big spending on early birthday gifts. But Big Mike informs Morgan that the competition was just to get everyone working harder. No one was getting fired.

Ellie and Morgan’s bonding continues when she invites him and Sarah to come to Mother’s Day. Chuck tells Sarah that Mother’s Day is the anniversary of the day Chuck and Ellie’s mom left them. Their dad was there but not there. Mother’s Day is the celebration of the day they learned to rely on each other. Seriously, is there a brother-sister duo better than Chuck and Ellie?

Chuck and Ellie celebrate Mother

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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