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'Chuck' recap: Be true to your school

Season 1 | Episode 7 | “Chuck Versus the Alma Mater” | Aired Nov 5, 2007

In one of my favorite episodes, we finally find out what happened at Stanford five years ago—but first, let’s get our Buy Morons subplot out of the way. New assistant manager Harry Tang is drunk with power. He has implemented seriously strict rules for the break room and demands that his employees, like, actually work and stuff. Harry has even staggered individual lunch schedules. Morgan is determined to topple Harry’s new regime. Anna offers to have him killed. Chuck thinks perhaps this is a little excessive. But when Harry programs all of Buy More’s TVs to a single master remote, Morgan knows that he must be stopped at any cost. The remote is a symbol of his power, and they have to take it!

Harry Tang and MorganAnna says that she can get it for them. She turns her flirt game on strong and distracts Harry so they can swipe his locker key, but when Morgan opens Harry’s locker, he is stopped by Tang himself. Lester sold Morgan out for a monogrammed polo. As punishment, Morgan is sent to “the hole”: the customer service desk.

But there’s a backup plan. Morgan reprograms Harry’s remote and threatens to air Passion Cove on the TVs. Morgan will fix the remote, but only if he can get out of the hole. Harry reluctantly agrees, and they’ve reached a ceasefire … for now.

Now, back to Stanford. Professor Fleming is teaching a class about subliminal image recognition—exactly like the Intersect. But when he sees an intimidating guy enter the lecture hall, he ends class early and runs for it. He makes a call explaining that he made a mistake; he copied intel for himself onto a disc. By the time Intimidating Guy catches up, Fleming has disappeared.

In the home theater room, General Beckman tells Team Chuck that Fleming was a CIA asset, and he’s missing. Chuck is shocked; Fleming is the professor who got him kicked out of school. Chuck doesn’t want to help with this one, but Beckman needs Chuck’s personal connection to help find Fleming.

Ellie is also pressuring Chuck to return to Stanford. She and Awesome (and all of his frat brothers) are roadtripping to Chuck’s alma mater for the Stanford/UCLA game. Ellie thinks that it would be good for Chuck to go back and get closure, but he disagrees.

With all this reminiscing, Chuck decides to go through some old-school stuff. He remembers Bryce telling him that he did this to himself as he was leaving. When Chuck goes to throw out these unhappy memories, Chuck flashes—on his own college ID. He rushes over to Casey’s apartment: “Why am I in the Intersect?”

Sarah and Casey aren’t sure why Chuck flashed, but since they were college files, it might be connected to Fleming. They spot Fleming on a traffic camera, and Team Chuck goes to bring him in.

Professor Fleming

Chuck thinks back to a meeting with Fleming at Stanford. Chuck had aced his exam, even the tricky embedded images section, but Fleming told Chuck that they found the answer key in his room, and he got a tip that Chuck was selling copies. And the tip came from Bryce.

When they arrive at Fleming’s location, Sarah and Casey go in while Chuck waits in the car, but Chuck sees Fleming on the sidewalk and stops him. He tells Fleming that he’s with the CIA now, and Fleming warns him to use a code phrase next time there’s danger. Fleming is ready to come in, but Chuck wants to ask him about the file first.

Before he can answer, Fleming is shot by Intimidating Guy from Stanford, an Icelandic spy named Magnus. Fleming gives Chuck a series of numbers to give to Bryce, but Magnus takes the note and disappears. Fleming survives, but as long as he’s in surgery, they can’t talk to him. Sarah thinks Bryce was one of Fleming’s CIA contacts, and he didn’t know about his death.

Chuck remembers playing a game in the Stanford library with Bryce. (Why were there never hot guys running around my library?) Chuck realizes that the number Fleming gave him was a call number for a book, and it probably leads to the spot where Bryce used to stash stuff. Chuck will have to be in the library to remember where the spot is. We’re headed to Stanford.

While Awesome and Ellie are tailgating, Team Chuck heads to the library, where Magnus already has the book—but the hiding spot is actually in the shelf itself. Chuck grabs the disc hidden there, but Magnus shows up and they make a run for it.

Student spies at Stanford

Hiding in a classroom, Chuck pops the disc into the computer. It’s 10 years’ worth of students whom Fleming recruited into the CIA. Bryce had joined up his junior year, and there’s a file with Chuck’s name on it too.

Magnus’ men arrive, and Casey and Sarah distract them while Chuck makes a run for it. He begins calling all of the most recent students from Fleming’s files, and he uses Fleming’s code phrase: “Are you coming to the toga party?” Casey and Sarah are just about out of ammo when the student spies show up, and Chuck and the disc are rescued from Magnus in the nick of time.

When they get home, Chuck thanks Ellie for pushing him; it was a relief to go back and say goodbye. But now Chuck has to find out what his file says. The video of his interview is actually Bryce, who’s angry that Fleming put Chuck on the CIA recruitment track. Fleming says that Chuck is wanted for a military project. With his extremely high test scores, Chuck won’t have a choice in the matter. Bryce wants his friend out of this. He says Chuck has too much heart for his line of work; he won’t survive in the field.

Bryce forces Fleming to help him frame Chuck for cheating, invalidating his test results. Bryce got Chuck kicked out of school to save him. Maybe there was a reason Bryce sent Chuck the Intersect, too …

Chuck thinks back to the first time he met Bryce at Stanford. They talked about Zork and the rise of the geek, and he even offered to introduce Chuck to Jill. It turns out Bryce wasn’t that bad after all.

Chuck and Bryce meet for the first time

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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