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'Chuck' recap: Love in the time of pentothal

Season 1 | Episode 8 | “Chuck Versus the Truth” | Aired Nov 12, 2007

This episode of our favorite spy comedy is all about forced honesty and unsuccessful sexy times (not at the same time). We’ll break this recap up into three sections: Harry Tang, Lou, and Spy Stuff. And then a fun quotes section!

Harry Tang

He’s gone! (For now.) Lester and Jeff record a private moment between Morgan and Mrs. Tang as he helps her pick out an anniversary gift. When Jeffster shows Harry the video, he loses it. He tries to burst in on Morgan and Mrs. Tang in the home theater room, but instead finds Team Chuck during a debriefing.

Casey tells Harry they work for the government, and they’re here to recruit him. He’s being relocated to Oahu to await further instructions. So the Buy More is down an assistant manager, and Big Mike reveal he is down a mistress. (Bye, Mrs. Tang.)


Lou (the delightful Rachel Bilson) comes in panicked about her phone. Chuck is instantly smitten. (This man has one move to pick up ladies, honestly.) They talk about the deli Lou owns—sandwiches are her passion—and Chuck promises to help with her phone.

When Lou comes back to the Buy More, she brings Chuck a personalized sandwich. They’re getting their flirt on when Sarah stops by. This is obviously awkward. Chuck tries to sidestep the G-word, but Sarah does not, and Lou storms off.

Chuck tracks Lou down and tries to explain that things with Sarah are complicated. (You know, since they’re not actually dating.) Lou tells him to find her when things are less complicated. (Spoiler alert: Things get less complicated.) By the end of the episode, Chuck goes to the deli to see Lou.

Spy Stuff

This week’s mission begins with an interrogator (Kevin Weisman) questioning a man about codes. He dosed the man with pentothal, a poison that starts as a truth serum. But the man escapes and retrieves a necklace hidden under a mailbox.

Meanwhile, Charah is on a sushi date with Awesome and Ellie. Awesome wants to know why Sarah hasn’t slept over, if you know what he means. (They all do.) As they leave the restaurant, Poisoned Guy collapses on the sidewalk. Ellie jumps into doctor mode, and he slips the necklace into the pocket of her sweater.

Right after Ellie leaves in the ambulance, Chuck flashes on Poisoned Guy’s ID. His name is Mason Whitney, and he stole codes to nuclear facilities. Chuck freaks out until Ellie returns from the hospital. Whitney didn’t make it.

Chuck feels like he put Ellie in danger, but he has bigger issues—his sex life. Awesome tries to give Chuck a sexual pep talk, and Sarah thinks Awesome may have a point. In order to maintain their cover, they need to sleep together.

But first there are nuclear codes to find! Team Chuck heads to the morgue. They don’t find the chip, but they do find a small bug (the electronic kind) behind Whitney’s ear. And Interrogator is putting the same bug on Ellie right now. He tracked Ellie down, assuming that Whitney passed her the chip. Posing as a cop, he plants a bug on her and douses her with poison.

Sarah and ChuckIt’s also a big night for Charah. Operation Bang is in full swing, and Chuck lit candles and turned on some music. When Sarah arrives, she reminds Chuck that this is a cover—they’re not actually going to have sex—and they need to take things seriously. This is coming from the woman in skimpy lingerie.

The evening is not off to a good start. Chuck is snippy because he can’t pursue things with Lou, and also Ellie is dying in the next room. The truth serum part of the poison has kicked in, and Ellie is shouting at Awesome. Then she barges into Chuck’s room and starts telling childhood secrets.

Next door, Casey is picking up interference from the bug on Ellie. He comes over to check things out right before Ellie collapses. At the hospital, Sarah tells Chuck they are looking for the antidote, but they don’t have much time.

Chuck and EllieChuck decides to draw Interrogator to them by shouting about finding the chip right into the bug. And then Chuck actually finds the chip in Ellie’s pocket when he’s sitting with her. When Interrogator comes to steal the codes, Sarah and Casey fight him, but he offers a trade of the antidote for the chip. Or he can just poison them and take it.

But Chuck bursts into the room, causing Interrogator to drop the poison, infecting them all. Interrogator grabs the chip and runs off. Sarah manages to get the antidote from him first and orders Chuck to take it; he’s too important to lose. But Chuck only cares about Ellie, and he rushes the antidote to her. Once that’s done, Chuck flashes on Interrogator’s tracking device. He’s an ex-gymnast named Reardon Paine, a seller on the black market.

Chuck and Sarah under truth serum

Team Chuck tracks down Paine, and he offers them some fake antidote before doing some impressive flips across the room. Sarah stops him with a shot to the knee and the day is saved. Before they take the actual antidote, Chuck takes advantage of the truth serum to ask Sarah if they might have a real relationship one day, and Sarah says no.

The next day, Chuck breaks up with Sarah. He can’t keep fooling people about their relationship—including himself. Later, Sarah admits to Casey that she was trained to withstand pentothal. Sarah, you dirty liar.

So Charah is over, Sarah is hiding feelings, and Lou and Chuck are finishing each other’s sandwiches. Check back after the holidays for more!


Lou: I often think about meats and cheeses. (Note: Me too.)

Lou: Our vast height difference intrigues me.

Poisoned Ellie: Words taste like peaches.

Chuck: If I had a blog, this would be a really big day for me.

Truth Serum Chuck: Casey, your jaw was chiseled by Michelangelo himself.

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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