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The four best parts of 'Chuck Versus the Living Dead'

Season 3 | Episode 17 | “Chuck Versus the Living Dead” | Aired May 17, 2010

Season 3 of Chuck is winding down, and some big questions remain: Is the intersect going to drive Chuck insane? Will Ellie find out the truth about Chuck and the rest of the team? Is Daniel Shaw really alive?

(I didn’t say we would answer those questions just yet.)

The band formerly known as Jeffster
Jeffster is singing outside the Buy More when a woman pays them to stop playing. The boys aren’t exactly where they want to be career-wise. Luckily, Big Mike offers to be their manager. Jeff is interested, but Lester doesn’t want to deal with The Man.

At an impasse, Lester leaves the band—and he takes the “ster” with him. Soon, the newly named “Jeff?” is playing autotuned original songs inside the Buy More. But things just aren’t the same.

Jeff doesn’t know who he is without Lester—just look at his band name!—so Big Mike convinces Lester to come back to the band. Big Mike knows what he’s talking about. After all, he is Rain, the long-lost member of Earth, Wind, and Fire.

"Chuck Versus the Living Dead"

Ellie the Spy
Having promised Justin that she would get in touch with her dad, Ellie sends Stephen Bartowski (Scott Bakula) a coded message via the classified section asking for his address. (That way the “CIA” can “protect” him.) Stephen promises to be in touch soon.

But Stephen doesn’t send his address—he comes for a visit. What is Ellie supposed to do now? Justin comes up with a new plan: Ellie plants a tracker on Stephen during their goodbye hug.

Meanwhile, Chuck is worried about Ellie’s safety while Shaw may or may not be alive, so he asks Casey to keep an extra-close eye on her. Unfortunately, this only reinforces Ellie’s planted suspicions of John.

When Casey overhears a message Ellie leaves for Justin, it sounds like Ellie is having an affair. Morgan reassures Casey it’s not possible. But something is definitely up with her.

So Casey sneaks into her apartment to investigate. Unfortunately, Ellie comes home early and hears someone sneaking around. Taking some inspiration from Tangled, she knocks an unknowing Casey out with a frying pan. Justin arrives just in time to sweep Ellie away, and he locks her in his office “for safety.”

"Chuck Versus the Living Dead"

Papa Bartowski
Stephen Bartowski is back! He comes to Burbank after Ellie’s message, and he’s confused to see Casey and Sarah still at the Buy More. Stephen worked so hard to get the Intersect out of Chuck’s head in the first place, so Chuck never told him he downloaded the Intersect 2.0 or that he still works for the CIA.

Sarah encourages Chuck to be honest with his dad, but Chuck tells Stephen he just does analyst work a few times a month. But when Stephen catches Chuck red-handed during a mission, he changes his story. He goes on the occasional mission, but mostly just analysis work.

But why would they let Chuck out on missions without the Intersect? (Stop being so smart!) Chuck says the CIA thinks he’s special, but Stephen knows what’s up. He throws a knife at Chuck’s face to prove that Chuck downloaded Intersect 2.0.

Stephen is angry. He doesn’t want this dangerous life for Chuck, and he knows the negative effects the Intersect can have on the brain. He won’t watch his son get killed, so he takes off.

Later, things converge at Stephen’s cabin. Justin sends a team to retrieve “the Governor” from Stephen’s Intersect. They’re in the midst of interrogating him when Chuck shows up to apologize. Now Chuck can prove to his dad that’s he’s special, and with a small assist from Sarah, the Bartowski men take out the Ring team.

Back in Burbank, Stephen explains that the Governor is like an Intersect pacemaker. It can stop the Intersect from overtaxing the brain, and Stephen is going to make a 2.0 version for Chuck.

"Chuck Versus the Living Dead"

Is Shaw alive?
At the end of the last episode, Chuck’s Intersect-induced dream led him to believe that Shaw is still alive. Chuck reluctantly tells Casey and Sarah his suspicions, and Casey determines that the easiest way to find Shaw is to use Sarah’s knowledge of him.

After a thorough interview, Chuck flashes on the name of Shaw’s penthouse. There’s a safe hidden there, so Sarah and Chuck break in. But before they can crack the safe, someone comes in. The man takes a briefcase from the safe and runs after Chuck’s squeaky shoe gives them away.

The man—who, unbeknownst to Team Bartowski, is Justin—gets away by jumping to the next rooftop, but he drops the case in the process.

The briefcase holds Shaw’s lockbox containing his spy will. The man was probably a Ring agent, which would suggest Shaw is dead after all.

Or not. At episode’s end, Justin places a call, and Shaw downloads an Intersect of his own.

"Chuck Versus the Living Dead"

Classified Quotes
“Most mornings I wake up around six. I pop a towel in the dryer so it’s warm when [Ellie] gets out of the shower. I’ll whip her up a Belgian waffle, or you know, a goat cheese omelet—something easy. After Ellie’s daily foot rub, I’ll bike over to the farmer’s market, pick up some fresh blueberries, or you know, whatever’s in season … Once we’re in bed—post lavender bath—I spend about 20 minutes just watching her sleep.” –Devon describing his typical day

“You have the hips of a six-year-old girl. Use them.” –Big Mike, music manager

“I talked to Captain Awesome. If he’d have me, I’d let him.” –Morgan

All 5 seasons of Chuck are streaming on Netflix.