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'Chuck' season 2 premiere fan recap: Is Operation Bartowski over?

Season 2 | Episode 1 | “Chuck Versus the First Date” | Aired Sept 29, 2008

Well, after taking the month of February off, Chuck nostalgia recaps are back, starting with the season two premiere! But first, here are a few things you need to know, or maybe just forgot, about where season one left off. Ellie and Awesome got engaged, Charah totally have feelings for each other but can’t do anything about it while they’re working together, and the CIA and the NSA are working on a new intersect. But when it’s up and running, Casey is tasked with taking the current intersect—Chuck—out of commission.

Now, let’s dive in to season two! We open with Chuck being dangled off a roof by Colt (Michael Clarke Duncan). When Sarah and Casey burst in to rescue Chuck, Colt gets away, but not before Chuck is able to recover the cipher, the artificial brain—and final piece—of the new intersect computer. When the intersect goes online, Operation Bartowski will be over.

Michael Clarke Duncan on Chuck

Sarah and Chuck leave their debriefing excited. Once this is over, Chuck will be free. He can do anything. But Casey knows that’s not exactly true. Beckman calls Casey back and tells him that tomorrow, Casey will have to eliminate Chuck. (And Casey does not feel good about this mission.)

The next morning, Chuck is jubilant with the prospect of a CIA-free life ahead of him. He tells Ellie that he’s thinking about getting a better job and even moving out.

But he’s not quite there yet. When Chuck gets to the Buy More, Morgan (sporting a new haircut) is excited to tell him all about his new Call of Duty plans, including a team of 50 players, so they can finally beat the folks over at Large Mart.

But before they can get into all the details, Chuck is summoned by Big Mike. He wants Chuck to take over the assistant manager job, but Chuck, high on the possibility of better things, turns him down. As punishment, Big Mike forces Chuck to hold interviews and choose the new assistant manager himself.

But first, Chuck decides to go after something he does want. He heads over to Orange Orange, Sarah’s new frozen-yogurt undercover job, and asks her on a real date. She accepts, and we get one of my favorite Chuck things: the getting-ready montage.

Meanwhile, Casey is visited by a “messenger,” here to pick up the cipher. But he’s not NSA. Once he gets the cipher, he gasses Casey and calls Colt. They still have two more targets.

The unsuspecting (and unarmed) Chuck and Sarah are enjoying their date, talking about how fantastic they both are and wondering about their futures. But right as Chuck is going in for the kiss, Chuck flashes on a customer at another table. And then another. And another. The whole restaurant is filled with bad guys. And then Colt walks in.

Chuck and Sarah

Colt wants to take Chuck with him, but luckily, a recovered Casey crashes through the restaurant in his Crown Vic, quipping, “Did somebody order drive-through?” AMAZING. After Colt punches Casey (with a giant ring), the team drives away. They don’t know who Colt works for, and they didn’t recover the cipher. So for now, Chuck is still the only intersect.

Chuck is far less enthusiastic the next morning, after his dreams of a normal life have been ripped away. After Morgan turns down the assistant manager job, Chuck starts interviewing the rest of the Buy Morons. His interviews with Anna, Jeff, and Lester surprisingly do not go well, and two of the interviewees try to play footsie with Chuck under the table. (I’ll let you guess which two.)

Chuck is relieved of interviewing duties when he flashes on the bruise on Casey’s face. He knows where Colt’s hideout is. Casey stalls on making a move. (He knows that as soon as they recover the cipher, Chuck is as good as dead.) But Chuck is anxious to get back to his normal life, so he puts Morgan in charge of interviews—which consists of Thunder Dome in the storage cage—and pushes Sarah and Casey to go after Colt now, while Chuck goes out on a call for a computer emergency.

When Casey and Sarah get to Colt’s warehouse, it’s cleaned out. They’re suspicious, and they should be. When Chuck arrives at his computer emergency, Colt greets him at the door.

While Colt stretches in anticipation of killing Chuck, Chuck spots the cipher and comes up with a plan. He tells Colt that this is actually his trap; they’re surrounded. Chuck rattles off the specs of the COD plan and calls Morgan, who confirms everything. Colt and his men momentarily panic, allowing Chuck to grab the cipher and take off.

But Colt is very imposing, and he has Chuck dangling from a roof again soon enough. And this time, he drops Chuck. Luckily, Casey is there to catch him when he falls, but Sarah doesn’t know that. She and Colt fight, and when Casey joins in, they’re surrounded by Colt’s men. No worries, though: Chuck brings in the rest of the tac team to take care of things. (The boy knows how to make an entrance.)

Charles Carmichael in action on Chuck

The cipher is back, but that means Casey’s mission is in full swing again. Casey says there has to be another option rather than killing Chuck, but Director Graham says that since Casey can’t guarantee Chuck’s safety, he has to be eliminated. So Casey reluctantly sneaks into Chuck’s apartment as he’s setting up for dinner with Sarah. Casey is about to take his shot when Sarah arrives. She tells Chuck that the cipher was hacked by Fulcrum. When Director Graham started the program, it exploded, killing him and all his men. Once again, Chuck is the only intersect. He’s safe again … for now.

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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