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'Chuck' fan recap: Big little lies

Season 3 | Episode 8 | “Chuck Versus the Fake Name” | Aired Mar 1, 2010

In the last two and a half seasons, we’ve seen Chuck grow as a spy. Where he was once ordered to stay in the car, now Chuck goes on solo missions. The introduction of Intersect 2.0 definitely helped Chuck get in the field, but he’s also learned from the rest of his team. Unfortunately, not everyone is happy with Chuck’s new spy skills.

On the home front, Ellie is still upset that she was the last person to find out about Hannah, so she heads over to talk to him about it. Ellie gives an impassioned speech from outside the bathroom door, only for Hannah to come out from the shower instead. Chuck walks in on their awkward meeting and offers to make dinner for all of them to make up for it.

At their mid-mission dinner, Chuck tries to commiserate with Awesome about his stressful spy stuff, but Awesome doesn’t want to hear it. Everything he knows is just something else he has to lie to Ellie about. He’s not good at lying like Chuck is. Chuck promises to leave him out of it.

The next day, Hannah invites Chuck to come to dinner with her parents. She knows it’s soon, but it just feels right. But Chuck never makes it to dinner. His mission gave him a lot to think about, so he goes to Ellie for advice.

Chuck can’t compartmentalize things the way he used to. He doesn’t feel like himself anymore. Ellie suggests that maybe things are moving too fast with Hannah, and it feels wrong because he still has feelings for Sarah.

So Chuck meets Hannah at the restaurant and breaks up with her. He’s been dishonest and it’s not fair to her. Hannah is pissed. She tells him he’s not a nice guy, but he’s an excellent liar. (Chuck sure seems to be getting that a lot lately.)

Kristin Kreuk as Hannah in

On the mission front, Sarah and Shaw are out on a fake date, waiting for a target. Sarah tells him she needs to stop mixing her professional and personal lives, and she doesn’t think they should see each other outside of work.

But the conversation is cut short when they tranq their target and take him back to Castle. His name is Rafe Gruber, and he’s a chameleon assassin. Few people know what he looks like, and he was just hired by the Ring. Casey offers to go undercover, but Shaw wants Chuck to assume Gruber’s identity instead. Sarah explains how difficult this kind of mission can be—he has to be Rafe—but Shaw and Chuck both think he can handle it.

So Casey and Chuck head in to get some info from Rafe. Casey wants to use a blowtorch, but Chuck wants to talk to him to get into character. Then Gruber’s phone rings, giving Chuck the perfect opportunity to be Gruber. “Rafe” sets up the meet and Chuck is in.

“Gruber” shows up with his coworker, “John,” and meets their contacts, two old-school mobsters. And one of them thinks Casey looks familiar. Chuck puts on a good show—very intimidating—but Sarah is wondering where this job ends. Chuck is living the lie, and Sarah can’t even remember who she really is.

Inside, the mobster remembers who Casey reminds him of: a sniper he used to serve with named Alex Coburn. Chuck flashes on the name, but Casey refuses to tell him who it is. The mobsters think Casey is a cop, so Chuck must be too. They’ve been made. But Chuck thinks fast. He pistol-whips Casey and tells the mobsters if John’s a cop, he’ll kill him himself.

They tie Casey up and Chuck opts for torture as a stalling tactic. Unfortunately, this requires Chuck to commit, and Casey gives him the go-ahead to pull out a tooth. Finally Sarah and backup roll in, and Sarah reminds Chuck to maintain his cover. Chuck flashes, takes out the agents, and escapes with the mobsters. They’ll meet up later to give “Gruber” his target.

Back at Castle, Casey tells Chuck he’s proud of him. He really sold his part; Casey barely recognized him. But Sarah isn’t feeling the same way.

The mobsters track “Gruber” back down at the Buy More, and take him to an abandoned building. The man he’s supposed to kill is in a hotel room a half-mile away. Gruber is one of only five people in the world who can make the shot.

But when Chuck looks through the scope, he sees Shaw—and Sarah. Sarah is talking to him about Chuck. She’s worried about how Chuck is changing. He’s becoming a real spy; it’s like Chuck is disappearing. It’s been making Sarah think about her own life before she became a spy. No one on her team even knows her real name. So she tells Shaw: It’s Sam (an excellent name). They kiss, and Chuck sees (and hears) the whole thing.

The mobsters are confused. Why isn’t Chuck killing the guy? And who’s Sam? Chuck says Sam is his girl, and they kindly talk through some of Chuck’s relationship drama with him. His target stole his girl too? He deserves to be killed in person. So Chuck heads over to the hotel. He bursts into Shaw’s room and attacks him, while still in character. The mobsters are watching; he can’t explain what’s really going on.

Meanwhile, Casey realizes the real Gruber escaped his transport. Gruber tracked down Chuck by tracing his phone. But when he bursts in, Chuck is already at the hotel. Gruber takes out the mobsters and heads to the hotel.

Rafe bursts in and joins the fight against Team Chuck. Chuck is having trouble flashing, so Rafe grabs Sarah and promises to shoot her. Luckily, Casey is one of the other five people who can make the shot, and he takes Rafe out from the other building.


  • Chuck dumped Hannah because he still has feelings for Sarah.
  • Sarah and Shaw are officially having a thing.
  • Casey is keeping secrets about someone named Alex Coburn.
  • Chuck is becoming a good spy—and no one is happy about it.
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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