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'Chuck' fan recap: From Russia with love

Season 1 | Episode 12 | “Chuck Versus the Undercover Lover” | Aired Jan 24, 2008

The first season of Chuck is winding down, so it’s about time we get some Casey backstory! But before delving into that more involved plot, let’s take care of the simpler Ellie/Awesome subplot.

Ellie and Awesome on ChuckAwesome and Ellie come to the Buy More to buy a joint gift for their anniversary. But the couple disagrees on what to purchase. Ellie wants a big-screen TV so they can spend more time together at home. Awesome would rather a washer/dryer set … so they can wash their workout clothes at home.

Ellie heads to work, though, leaving Awesome in charge of their gift. Unsurprisingly, Awesome comes home with the washer/dryer. Ellie is pissed. It’s always about what he wants. Morgan plays couple’s counselor, but Ellie thinks Awesome isn’t committed to their relationship.

Ellie deals with their fight by drinking alone. When Sarah comes over looking for Chuck, Ellie is a mess, so Sarah stays to comfort her until she has to leave for her mission. Luckily, Morgan arrives and takes over. Ellie passes out on his shoulder, and Morgan takes care of her.

The next morning, a remorseful Awesome comes home with the big-screen TV. He returned the washer/dryer and apologizes. Everything is awesome again.

Casey and IlsaNow for the mission. The episode opens in Chechnya in 2004, with a beautiful woman and … Casey?! She’s a photojournalist and Casey is an “energy consultant.” But after she steps outside, a huge explosion occurs. Casey runs out to find only her camera, blown to pieces.

Back at the Buy More in the present day, Chuck has a string of flashes. The Nerd Herd is working on a hotel’s computer, and Chuck flashes on the name of a Russian arms dealer … and then another … and then another. He scrolls through the registry and flashes on a whole list of names, including Ilsa Trinchina (Ivana Milicevic), Casey’s lost love.

When Chuck tells Casey that Ilsa is in town, Casey freaks and tells him to never mention her again. So of course, Chuck runs over to the Wienerlicious to tell Sarah he wants to find out more about Ilsa and Casey, and he wants her help.

During a debrief, General Beckman informs Team Chuck that the Russian bad guys are having a party at the hotel. Chuck and Sarah have to go undercover and find out why they’re meeting. Chuck asks Casey if he’s coming to see Ilsa, but Sarah stops him. She tells Chuck that Ilsa is dead, and the person at the hotel is probably someone traveling on a fake passport.

When they get to the party, Sarah poses as a waiter, while Chuck joins the dancing Russians when he is mistaken for their cousin, Sasha. Across the room, Chuck spots Ilsa. She’s alive.

Their cover has been blown, but before they can get out, Casey sees Ilsa. She tells him that she woke up in a hospital two weeks after the explosion, and it was months before she could remember her name. But she never forgot him. She’s still wearing the necklace he gave her. Then Victor Federov, a big Russian mobster, stands up to speak. Everyone is here for his wedding—to Ilsa. Uh-oh.

Chuck offers to lend Casey an ear at the Buy More the next day, and shockingly enough, Casey doesn’t want to talk about it. But Chuck continues to grill Casey. He wants to know about his life. (They have such a weird, great relationship.) Finally, Casey cracks and tells Chuck about how he and Ilsa met. Chuck thinks Casey should fight for her. She may not know her fiancé is a bad guy.

Chuck is persuasive, and the two men head to the hotel to win Casey back his woman. Unfortunately they run into Sarah, who is running surveillance. They claim to be there to help. In the surveillance room, Chuck spots Ilsa sitting alone at the bar the night before her wedding. This is Casey’s chance!

A guard spots Sarah trying to plant a bug in Victor’s hotel room, so Chuck has to finish the job. He rifles through a briefcase on the desk and flashes. Ilsa is actually French secret service, but before Chuck can tell anyone, Ilsa and Casey come into the room to, uh, make up for lost time.

Chuck Bartowski and John CaseyThere’s potentially an awkward moment as Chuck hides under the bed, but his phone rings and gives him away. Casey and Ilsa draw guns on each other, but before she can explain, Victor comes in. Casey and Chuck hide under the bed until Victor passes out, drunk.

The next day, Ilsa shows up at the Buy More. She’s been investigating Victor’s organization for years, and they needed someone on the inside. She apologizes to Casey and returns his necklace.

That night, Chuck finds Casey drinking in his underwear. Casey shows him Ilsa’s necklace and a Russian bug falls from it. Victor has been listening to her—he knows she’s a spy. Drunk Casey rushes off to stop the wedding with Chuck in tow.

But when they arrive at Ilsa’s room, Victor and his henchmen are there. They tie Casey and Chuck up and head down to the wedding. They’ll kill them later.

John Casey on Chuck

Casey fights off their guards, still tied back to back with Chuck, but they step too close to the balcony railing and fall conveniently into the pool directly below Ilsa’s room.

Casey climbs out of the pool, soaking wet in a tux, right into the wedding. All the of Russian mobsters draw guns, but with some help from Sarah and Ilsa, Team Chuck gets the upper hand.

The next day, Casey and Ilsa say a loving goodbye while Chuck watches from his bedroom window like it’s The Parent Trap. “I’m glad you’re not dead,” Casey tells her. (In John Casey speak, that means “I love you.”)

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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