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'Chuck' fan recap: Spies on a plane

Season 3 | Episode 5 | “Chuck Versus First Class” | Aired Jan 24, 2010

New leadership means new problems for everyone on Chuck. After firing and rehiring Lester for running a Buy More fight club, assistant manager Morgan is the victim of some serious hazing. Luckily, Morgan knows most of the Buy Morons pranks, but he still ends up glued to a chair and later shoved into the claw machine. He’s lost the Buy Morons’ respect, and he doesn’t know how to get it back.

Luckily, Casey is there to help. He tells Morgan he shouldn’t earn respect, he should take it. Casey agrees to be Morgan’s lieutenant assistant manager and fight the Buy More insurgents. Morgan gathers the team and warns them to abandon their sabotage or else. (Casey enforces the point by stubbing out a cigar in his palm.)

The Buy Morons all abandon ship, except for Lester (and a reluctant Jeff). So it’s on to Plan B. Casey kidnaps Lester in the middle of the night and brainwashes him to respect and love Morgan. Problem solved.

Chuck Versus First Class

Team Chuck is having its own issues with new management. Since Daniel Shaw has taken over the team, he’s conducting a review … on Chuck. Is he a real spy? Is he a liability? But it turns out that Chuck isn’t the problem—Sarah and Casey are. They coddle Chuck; he hasn’t had a chance to evolve on his own as a spy. So it’s time for Chuck to go on his first solo mission, undercover in Paris.

Chuck is excited to finally get a chance to prove himself, but Sarah thinks the whole plan is crazy. She believes Chuck can do it, but he needs more time. But she’s overruled, and Chuck heads to the airport. He’ll receive more instructions in Paris.

Chuck is flying first-class, and he’s seated next to the lovely Hannah (Kristin Kreuk). They immediately hit it off. Hannah does IT work for a private investor. It’s a stressful job but she gets to travel a lot. Chuck spouts a story about being in high-end retail. He’s just a regular, first-class-flying, Paris-visiting, successful guy.

Kristin Kreuk as Hannah in

But as Chuck and Hannah are talking at the bar, he flashes on another passenger. His name is Hugo Panzer (Steve Austin), and he’s a Ring agent. Chuck makes a panicked call back to Castle, during which Shaw informs him his mission isn’t in Paris: It’s on the plane.

Hugo is moving a cryptokey. Chuck’s mission is to get Hugo’s baggage ticket and find the key. Chuck uses a malfunctioning tranq pen to drug Hugo and heads down into the cargo hold. The ticket belongs to a casket, and Chuck finds the key taped to the corpse’s hand.

But obviously things aren’t that simple. Hugo has a fancy watch that gives him a jolt when his blood pressure gets low, and he’s revived and down in the cargo hold sooner than expected. When Chuck realizes he’s in danger, he tries calling Sarah again, but Shaw tells her not to answer. Chuck will never be a good spy if she does.

So Chuck hides in the casket with the body and tries Casey. He tells him to act like he isn’t a threat (i.e., act normal), and then find a weapon and flash. Luckily, a traveling fencing team provides Chuck with a fencing sabre, and he and Hugo sword-fight in the cargo hold. Chuck manages to cut down the net holding the bags in place, and they all fall on Hugo. Chuck’s first solo mission is a success.

Back in first class, Hannah busts Chuck. He’s too excited about this trip to have visited Paris before. So Chuck (sort of) comes clean. He tells her about the Buy More and that he’s doing a home install for a customer’s second home in Paris. Hannah confesses to something, too: She was just fired. She’s headed to Paris to empty out her office.

But mid-conversation, Chuck realizes he never ordered the drink he’s drinking. And Hugo is back in his seat. Chuck has been poisoned. The flight attendant, Serena, follows Chuck to the restroom with a gun. She has the antidote, and he’s not getting it until she gets the key.

Chuck Versus First Class

So they head down the cargo hold and Shaw calls to talk to Serena. He knows all about her. If she lets Chuck go, they’ll let her and Hugo go. But since they’re the bad guys, they obviously don’t fall for that plan. Instead, Shaw works some CIA magic and gives Sarah control of the plane. She does some crazy flying (“turbulence”) to throw the Ring agents off balance. Chuck gets the antidote and his nunchucks, but before he can fight back, Serena and Hugo are taken out by falling luggage. Now the mission is over.

Back in first class, Hannah offers to show Chuck the Eiffel Tower, but Shaw calls and orders Chuck back immediately. He doesn’t even get to leave the plane. But he does give Hannah his card. If she ever finds herself in Burbank, he can get her a job at the Buy More.

When Chuck returns to Castle, Shaw uses the key to open a lockbox hidden in the suitcase they recovered from Carina’s “fiancé,” Karl. The lock box belonged to a mole within the Ring, and it contains all of her intel.

Shaw turns over the intel to the team, but he takes an envelope from the box for himself. There’s a ring inside. It belonged to Evelyn Shaw, Daniel’s wife. She was killed by a Ring operative five years ago. Shaw tells Sarah they’ve both broken the same rule: They fell in love with spies.

Chuck Versus First Class

Other Stuff

  • Shaw questions Sarah about going missing for three days in Lisbon (after Chuck left her in Prague). He needs to know that she’s not working for the Ring. Sarah tells him she went to bury Bryce’s ashes. But Shaw still has suspicions about her relationship with Chuck.
  • Hannah finds herself in Burbank, and the Buy More.
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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