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'Chuck' fan recap: Fights with friends and Jeffster's debut

Season 2 | Episode 14 | “Chuck Versus the Best Friend” | Aired Feb 23, 2009

This is not an episode that sticks out for me when I think about my favorites, but dang, is it a forgotten—and surprisingly emotional—gem. Plus, IT’S THE FIRST APPEARANCE OF JEFFSTER! So let’s get started.

Ellie is feeling overwhelmed with her wedding planning, and Awesome is just not pulling his weight. (Figuratively, that is. Literally, dude could probably bench press a truck.) So Ellie assigns Awesome three tasks: cake, flowers, and music. (So, only like, three of the most important things. What are you thinking, woman?!)

But Awesome is a busy guy, so he delegates finding a band to Chuck. At the Buy More, Jeff and Lester overhear Chuck calling potential bands, and what do you know! Jeff and Lester have a band—Jeffster. They want to play the wedding, but Chuck declines.

Luckily, Ellie’s computer crashes, and Jeff and Lester use their Nerd Herd job to sneak in an audition. But Lester panics; he’s too nervous and he runs off. So Jeff fights for Lester’s dream, and Awesome gives them another chance. Jeffster performs a rousing rendition of “Africa” at the Buy More. They won’t be playing any weddings anytime soon, but the band is here to stay.

In the week’s main plot, Morgan is stalking his ex, Anna, and he recruits the Nerd Herders to help. He tells Chuck, Jeff, and Lester he thinks Anna is seeing someone else, so he wants to spy on her for some intel. Jeffster is totally in (they basically do this all the time anyway), and Chuck is dragged reluctantly along. The boys gather in Jeff’s creepy spy van to follow Anna.

Jeff Barnes (Scott Krinsky) on Chuck

Morgan was right; Anna is seeing someone else, and he’s bad news. Chuck flashes on his license plate. Her new boyfriend is Jason Wang, a car importer with ties to Triad gangsters. At debriefing, Beckman orders Chuck to use his social connections to figure out Wang’s relationship with Triad. That means Chuck has to hang out with his best friend’s ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend. Not complicated at all.

But Chuck refuses to betray Morgan. He’s not going to do that to him, orders or no. But when Chuck spots Morgan bothering Anna at the Buy More, he intervenes. And that gives Chuck the perfect opportunity to invite Anna to double with him and Sarah sometime. Anna is excited, and she invites Charah to come to a party for an upcoming auction at Jason’s showroom.

Chuck may be betraying Morgan, but he’s not going to make it easy. He talks Morgan up to Anna at the party, but Anna is just excited to be expanding her social circle. She introduces Jason to her new friends, and of course, Morgan in his spy van outside, sees everything.

Chuck and Sarah hang out with Anna

But Chuck can’t worry about Morgan because a group of Triad muscle shows up at the party. He follows them to the garage to plant a bug. The Triad-in-charge, Smooth Lau, is arguing with Jason about a shipping container. Chuck plants the bug, but knocks over a bunch of stuff in the process, exposing himself.

Sarah is stuck up at the party with Anna, who wants to talk out her residual feelings for Morgan. (Could she still love him?) But there’s been a security breach, and Sarah thinks Chuck is in trouble. But Morgan is the one who was caught snooping.

Smooth Lau starts questioning Morgan, and Chuck runs out to protect him. But saving his life in this case means embarrassing him. He tells everyone that Morgan is a pathetic stalker who needs to grow up. Smooth Lau lets Morgan go, and he slinks away, hurt by his best friend. But later, when one of the Triad henchmen finds the bug in the garage, they think Morgan really was a spy after all. They have to find him.

Chuck Versus the Best Friend

The next day, when Morgan refuses to accept Chuck’s apology, Chuck argues with Sarah. She doesn’t understand what Morgan means to him. Chuck and Morgan have been best friends since kindergarten, and Morgan has always been there for him—when his mom left, when his dad left, always. They’re family. But Sarah doesn’t get it.

At the Buy More, Chuck tries to apologize again, and Morgan says it’s his own fault. Chuck is always right and he’s always bailing Morgan out of trouble and Morgan is sick of it. He wants to fight his own battles. But perhaps this isn’t the time, since the Triad just rolled into the Buy More looking for Morgan.

Chuck saves Morgan (again) by knocking him out with some CIA breath spray and tries to wheel him out in a home theater box. But he’s interrupted by Anna showing him Jason’s car auction on the news. Chuck flashes on someone in the background. Ambassador Mei Sheng is at the auction, and the Triad is going to kill him.

Chuck goes back for Morgan, but the box is gone. The Triad have him. So Team Chuck heads to the auction. Sarah and Casey go inside to look for the Ambassador, but Chuck goes into the garage looking for Morgan. He sees Smooth Lau putting a bomb into the Ambassador’s new car, and putting an unconscious Morgan in the trunk. Two birds, one bomb.

Chuck Versus the Best Friend

The Ambassador drives off in his new (explosive) car, and Chuck and Casey take off after him while Smooth Lau and Sarah duke it out in the garage. Everyone finally catches up to the Ambassador’s car, and Chuck gets the bomb out, throws it into the Nerd Herder and drives off. Then Sarah and Casey watch the car explode—with Chuck inside.

Sarah is crying, and even Casey looks a little upset, but then Chuck walks around the corner. He was driving the car with a remote control. No one was hurt, and the Ambassador and Morgan are fine, too.

Sarah thinks Chuck is dead

When Morgan finally wakes up (safe and sound at the Buy More), he thinks he fainted in anticipation of fighting the henchmen. Morgan and Chuck are good, and so are Morgan and Anna. They make up (and make out) and decide to get back together. And Sarah apologizes to Chuck for not being sensitive to his relationship with Morgan. She doesn’t have anyone in her life who cares about her like that. Chuck tells her she does. (Get with the program, Sarah. HE LOVES 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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