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'Chuck' season 3 premiere fan recap: 'Will you run away with me?'

Season 3 | Episode 1 | “Chuck Versus the Pink Slip” | Aired Jan 10, 2010

When Chuck originally aired, fans had to stew over season two’s finale cliffhanger for over nine months. Luckily, you had to wait less than a week. You’re welcome. The season three premiere picks up after a six-month time jump. Chuck has gotten a haircut (I call this the season of the fluffy hair), and he’s participating in a mission simulation as part of spy school. He’s utilizing Intersect 2.0’s cool new skills, but he still can’t/won’t shoot people, despite orders. And when his emotions affect his ability to flash under pressure, Beckman fires him. Chuck argues that he gave up a lot for this, but Beckman’s decision is made.

In a flashback to six months earlier, Chuck is getting ready to head to Europe for spy training when Sarah pulls him aside to talk him out of going. If he does this, he won’t be the same person. Chuck thinks that sounds okay, but Sarah offers him something better: running away together. Sarah tells Chuck to meet her at the train station in Prague in three weeks. She wants to be a real person again, with him. Will he run away with her?

Back in the present, Chuck returns home and tells Ellie and Awesome that Charah is no more. Chuck’s new spyless, Sarah-less life consists of a bathrobe, not shaving, and a HUGE bucket of cheese balls. Even Morgan, home from hibachi training in Hawaii, can’t get him off the couch. But then Chuck’s bucket runs dry.

Chuck and his cheese balls

He heads to the Buy More incognito to replenish his cheese ball supply. But when Emmett realizes he’s there, he revels in Chuck’s failure and ridicules him in front of the whole store. But the trip wasn’t for nothing. Chuck discovers that Sarah was at Orange Orange. So Chuck goes searching and finds Casey packing up Castle. Casey says he hasn’t heard from Sarah (an obvious lie, since she calls during their chat). They have a mission later, and Chuck offers his help. He needs to prove he can be a real spy. Casey declines, but Chuck needs to fix things with Sarah. So he shaves, put on his old Nerd Herd rags, and goes to win back his woman.

When Chuck arrives, Sarah confronts him. But then she orders him to kiss her … then promptly slaps him for it. Sarah’s new man (while she’s undercover), Gilles, walks in, and Sarah tells him Chuck is an ex having trouble letting go. Ouch (literally).

Chuck Versus the Pink Slip

Casey kicks Chuck out before he spooks the courier they’re waiting for. But Chuck flashes on the name. Javier Cruz (Adoni Maropis) isn’t a courier. He’s an assassin. Chuck tries to get back in to warn them, but in his efforts, he accidentally knocks out the mariachi guitarist. So Chuck uses Intersect 2.0 to take his place in the band. But it turns out that the guitarist Chuck knocked out was ALREADY taking the place of the real guitarist (where is this poor guy?). It was the assassin all along.

Sarah takes Gilles out onto the dance floor, but Chuck sees Javier’s sniper dot on them, so he leaps from the stage. But it turns out half the club is undercover agents. They lose Javier in the chaos, and Chuck is responsible for ruining the op they’ve been working on for months.

Chuck is on the couch again when Morgan stops by. Chuck tells him vaguely that he was fired from the opportunity of a lifetime, and Morgan can relate. Morgan was fired from Benihana and Anna ran off with another man. He’s been living in the home theater room.

Things converge at the Buy More (as they usually do). Javier comes looking for Chuck as Emmett is getting ready to leave. Emmett sees Javier skulking around outside and sasses the assassin, and he gets a bullet in the head for his trouble. ‘Bye, Emmett.

Morgan and Chuck are picking up Morgan’s things when Sarah arrives to say a proper goodbye. And then Javier’s men sneak up on Chuck, knock him out, and take him and Sarah captive. When Chuck wakes up, Javier enters his cell for a rematch (and takes off his shirt, which feels unnecessary). But Chuck doesn’t flash and gets knocked out again.

We flashback to Charah’s meetup at the Prague train station. Sarah has a suitcase and is ready to run away, but Chuck arrives empty-handed. He wants to stay and get spy training. He can’t go with her. That’s right, folks, Chuck picks the spy life over Sarah because HE’S AN IDIOT.

Chuck and Sarah in Prague

Sarah, from the cell next door, tells Chuck he needs to flash and rescue her, but Chuck says she was right. He’s not a real spy. But when Javier comes in for round two and threatens Sarah, Chuck finally flashes, knocking him out and grabbing his keys and custom Ring smart phone. Sarah and Chuck escape, but are still surrounded. Luckily, Casey comes to their rescue. (That man has impeccable timing.)

After the success of this mission, General Beckman decides to put Operation Bartowski back into the field. Their new mission is to bring down the Ring. So Chuck (and Morgan) get their jobs back at the Buy More, and Emmett (according to rumor) took a job at Large Mart in Alaska. Ellie and Awesome move into their own apartment across the courtyard, leaving Chuck (and Morgan) the old apartment.

Sarah stops by and Chuck apologizes for abandoning her in Prague. But Sarah says she made a mistake. She acted impulsively and it won’t happen again. Chuck is a spy now. They have to keep their feelings to themselves. (This is partially charged by Beckman’s warning to Sarah that the Intersect makes Chuck unstable. His emotions have to be kept in check.) And another new part of Chuck’s spy life? Casey is in charge of his training. This is going to be good.

Chuck and Casey training

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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