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'Chuck' nostalgia recap: The season 2 finale

Season 2 | Episode 22 | “Chuck Versus the Ring” | Aired April 27, 2009

We’ve made it to the season two finale! It’s full of job changes, two weddings, a major character death, and a cliffhanger. So let’s do this.

Chuck’s life is his own again at last. So as a reward to himself, Chuck walks into Emmett’s office and quits. (So does Casey.) He’s done with the Buy More. But Chuck is quickly offered a new job by General Beckman. She invites him to be an analyst on the new intersect project, but Chuck declines. He’s done with the intersect. Chuck is given his pay packet for his two years as a secret government employee. (And apparently intersects get paid really well.)

With Project Bartowski officially over, the rest of the team is packing up too. Chuck and Casey hug (begrudgingly) and say goodbye. Casey is going back to his old team, but he gives Chuck his personal number for emergencies. And Sarah is going to head up the new intersect project with Bryce. Now that they have the cube, Bryce is going to get the intersect like he was always supposed to. They’re leaving in the morning.

But first, it’s Ellie and Awesome’s wedding. Chuck pulls Sarah aside before it begins. Chuck wants to make a declaration. He wants to be with her, without the guns and the lying. Will she … go on vacation with him? But Sarah breaks the news that she’s leaving. And Chuck is crestfallen.

[Author’s note: This rewatch has given me such an appreciation for Charah’s theme. Let’s all listen to it together, and then we’ll continue.]

The shiny promise of the day has dulled, but Chuck decides to brighten it up with a bottle of champagne (A+ idea). Instead, he finds dead waiters in the reception hall, and Ted Roark appears. He wants the intersect cube, or Ellie is dead.

Chuck can’t find Sarah, so he tells Morgan to tell her that he’s going back for the rings. Sarah will know that it’s a lie and that Chuck is in trouble. Chuck tells Morgan to stall the wedding until he gets back. So Morgan passes the message on and Sarah heads off after Chuck. And Morgan cooks up a plan.

Chuck Versus the Ring, season 2 finale

When Chuck gets to Castle, Bryce has already moved the cube. He says they can’t let Roark have it, but he offers himself up instead. Everyone already thinks Bryce is the intersect, and they’ve been looking for him anyway. And then Bryce mentions that he’s known Chuck’s dad was Orion all along. Bryce was the only spy Steve could trust, and he wanted to keep Chuck out of the spy life. (Sigh, he tried.)

Back at the wedding, Steve realizes something is wrong too. He finds Sarah and they find Roark. But Chuck is not back yet, and Morgan is stalling via a Jeffster performance. The Woodcombs are PANICKING (and sharing a flask), and Jeffster begins performing “Mr. Roboto.” Devon is ready to kill Morgan, but when Morgan admits Chuck asked him to stall, Devon reads between the lines. It’s a spy thing. He lets the show go on.

Jeffster performs

Sarah is in the reception hall looking for a gifted knife set when Chuck barges in. He tells Roark he doesn’t have the cube; he has Bryce instead. But Fulcrum wants Chuck dead regardless, and Roark orders his men to kill him. Luckily, Sarah finds knives just in time, and Team Chuck gets the upper hand.

The reception hall is shot to pieces by Fulcrum and Bryce, but Bryce only has so many bullets. And they’re cornered yet again. Casey, thankfully, chooses this time to rappel in through the ceiling with his team—thank you, emergency number—and take out Roark’s men. Steve gets to land the knockout punch on Roark himself. The day is saved, but the wedding is ruined. And after the sprinkler goes off because of Jeffster’s theatrics, Ellie says the wedding is off.

Chuck feels terrible. He admits to Ellie that it’s all his fault, and she’s hurt that he ruined the most important day of her life. So Chuck finds a way to make it up to her. He uses his CIA money to throw his sister the beach wedding of her dreams, with Casey’s tac team doing the impromptu arrangements. This wedding goes off without a hitch, except for Sarah telling Bryce that she’s not going with him.

Ellie and Awesome

It seems like a happy ending, but the episode isn’t over yet. One of Casey’s men opens the door of Roark’s cell in Castle and shoots him. Then he shoots the rest of the team and knocks Casey out. He can’t kill Casey; Casey once saved his life.

At the reception in the courtyard, Steve warns Bryce that the data architecture for the intersect is different now. It’s dangerous. But an agent comes to take Bryce for his upload. And then something weird happens. Steve flashes. HE HAS AN INTERSECT TOO. Steve drops this bomb on Chuck, and Sarah and warns them that the man who took Bryce was not CIA. Fulcrum is going to upload the intersect into their team instead.

Bryce figures this out at the facility. He manages to lock himself in the intersect vault, but he takes a bullet to the side first. Team Chuck arrives, and Sarah and Casey get into a shootout while Chuck goes to find Bryce. He enters the vault through the ducts and finds Bryce, barely alive. Bryce tells Chuck to take care of Sarah—she was never going to go with him—and gives him a disc to destroy the intersect once and for all. Then he warns that Chuck Fulcrum is just one part of the Ring. And then he DIES.

Before Chuck destroys the intersect, he thinks back on the last two years. He can be the hero. He can be a spy. So he downloads intersect 2.0 and fries the computer. By the time the Ring agents get into the vault, it’s too late.

Things look pretty dire for Team Chuck, but then Chuck flashes, and it’s different from before. The Ring agents realize what Chuck’s done, but before they can do anything, Chuck bursts out some serious martial arts and takes out a room of agents, while Sarah and Casey look on in shock (the former) and confused admiration (the latter). At the end of the fight, a startled Chuck just says, “Guys, I know kung fu.”


Chuck season 2 finale

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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