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'Chuck' fan recap: Hello Burbank!

Season 2 | Episode 12 | “Chuck Versus the Third Dimension” | Aired Feb 2, 2009

When this episode originally aired, it was shown in 3-D (hence the episode title). It was to promote the many 3-D movies coming to theaters soon, and it even had a Super Bowl commercial. You picked up free glasses from grocery stores, but unfortunately, this was apparently not a very impressive 3-D experience. (Remember, this was back in the days before 3-D TVs were a thing, before every movie was released in 3-D, and 3-D glasses were still those crazy red-and-blue ones that gave you a headache.)

Obviously, my DVD rewatch was a simple, 2-D experience, but enjoyable nonetheless! Let’s start with our Buy More subplot. Big Mike’s old football buddy, Jimmy Butterman (Jerome Bettis), has just been paroled and is coming to work at the Buy More, so he tells Morgan to show him the ropes.

The ropes, in this case, consists of opening every copy of Tyler Martin’s latest CD (more on him later), looking for the golden ticket that will get them into a charity concert. Morgan finds it, and Jeff, Lester, and Butterman all compete to be his plus one.

Butterman wins the first contest—the Molly Ringwald underpants challenge—with an assist from Lester, and Jeff wins the Subway Sprint by eating half of a party sub. (I think this may be Chuck‘s first huge Subway product placement!) Morgan brings in a urinal cake for the tiebreaker, and Jeff TAKES A BITE. He just needed to touch it. Gross, Jeff.

Jeff’s complete lack of hygiene makes him the winner, but Morgan feels like Butterman deserves this night of freedom. He just got out of prison after all. So Morgan hands over the ticket only to have Butterman sell it for vacation money. See ya, Butterman.

Morgan finds the Golden Ticket

At the end of the last episode (right before a long hiatus when it originally aired), Chuck had witnessed Sarah kill an unarmed Fulcrum agent, and now he’s having nightmares about it. Ellie and Awesome think he just needs to take a day off, blow off some steam.

But that’s not going to happen today. Tyler Martin (Dominic Monaghan in his Lost heyday), a famous, party-boy rock star, is coming to the Buy More for a signing. But Chuck flashes on a man planting a grenade in the store. Casey and Co. don’t have time to diffuse it, but they take it in the back and let it explode safely in a safe/fridge/closet combo. Someone is trying to kill Tyler Martin.

Tyler arrives at the Buy More, but he’s surrounded by security. Chuck doesn’t know how they’re supposed to get him alone to protect him. Luckily, Sarah is hot and Tyler is a rock star, so they’re actually able to section him off easily. They tranq Tyler and take him to Casey’s for safekeeping. While Casey and Sarah go off looking for the bad guy, Chuck is babysitting the unconscious rocker.

Dominic Monaghan as Tyler Martin on Chuck

But Tyler’s rock star metabolism means he doesn’t stay passed out for long. Chuck pretends to be someone from the label protecting him from a death threat, but Tyler is unfazed. He tosses Chuck’s phone and takes him out to party like a rock star.

They do some shots, and Tyler tells Chuck he should get some ink. Tyler’s manager, Gavin, brings in tattoo artists for him wherever they go, and the ladies love it. Ladies also love guys in bands, so when some girls come over to say hi, Tyler introduces Chuck as his drummer (and fellow Aussie).

Chuck and Tyler (Dominic Monaghan) party

Unfortunately, these women aren’t groupies; they’re assassins sent by Achmed Gambir, the bomber. Chuck flashes on one of the girl’s necklace and tries to save Tyler. But Tyler thinks Chuck is just eager for his turn and sends him in with the girls first. Chuck, sans pants, flees, but they catch up to him at the elevator (the girls inside, Chuck hanging from the outside).

Chuck Versus the Third Dimension

Luckily, Casey and Sarah finally catch up to them. They take out the girls, and tranq Tyler again. Back at Casey’s, Chuck flashes on one of Tyler’s tattoos. It’s a message about a private reactor being built in North Africa. Gavin has been using Tyler’s body to transport secrets; that’s why Achmed is after him.

Beckman still wants Tyler to perform at his charity concert so he can act as bait. After some convincing, Tyler agrees. But Casey and Sarah have some trouble finding Achmed at the concert. He handed out free tickets to people who dressed up like him so he could sneak backstage unnoticed.

Achmed breaks into Tyler’s dressing room, but Chuck threatens to leak a photo of Tyler’s tattoo unless he leaves them alone. The plan is going well until Tyler bursts out of the closet, and he and Chuck run for the stage. But Achmed is right behind them. They crowd surf to safety, as Casey and Sarah arrest Achmed, and Tyler finishes his concert.

Chuck Versus the Third Dimension

Mission complete, Sarah asks Chuck to tell her what’s bothering him. She knows it’s more than just wanting a day off. Chuck confesses that he saw her shoot the Fulcrum agent, and Sarah says she was just doing her job. She offers Chuck some time off; when he’s ready to come back, they’ll be waiting. But there’s no rest for the intersect. Casey and Sarah head off on a new mission, and Chuck hops in the car, too. They have work to do.

Chuck Versus the Third Dimension

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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