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‘Chuck’ nostalgia recap: Introducing Volkoff

Season 4 | Episode 7 | “Chuck Versus the First Fight” | Aired Nov 1, 2010

Things are bound to get awkward when your girlfriend kidnaps your mom. Plus, there’s a sheep truck, a couple-fight in the middle of an actual fight, and a humongous CGI explosion. Let’s recap.

Chuck’s mom is being held at Castle before her transfer to a CIA black site, and Chuck is freaking out about it. He’s practicing how best to confront Sarah with an assist from Morgan. This is his and Sarah’s first fight as a couple, so it’s important. He has to do it right.

In order to win the fight, Chuck needs to prove that his mom isn’t a traitor. But he can’t find any proof in his dad’s files. Morgan suggests the best way to get answers is to talk to Mary. Unfortunately, Beckman banned Chuck from seeing her. Fortunately, no one enforces this rule.

Chuck tells Mary she needs to tell him the truth if he’s going to prove her innocence. Mary explains that Volkoff started to suspect her; he was close to discovering her real identity, so she claimed she was switching sides to join him. She cut ties with the CIA and joined up with MI6 instead.

NBC/ screenshot

NBC/ screenshot

Mary’s handler, Gregory Tuttle (Timothy Dalton), is the only person who can confirm her story. So Mary sends Chuck to a prearranged meet. Once Chuck says the code phrase, Tuttle will know Chuck can be trusted. But he cannot know that Chuck is her son.

Chuck brings Morgan with him as a lookout, but Morgan naturally drops his earpiece in his water glass. While Morgan is in the bathroom, Tuttle shows up and threatens Chuck. Once Chuck gives the code phrase, Tuttle apologizes — he’s just a handler, not a real spy. Chuck explains that Frost is in CIA custody and he’s trying to help her. But Tuttle realizes that if Frost is missing, Volkoff will be looking for her. And that’s when Chuck and Tuttle get tranqued by Volkoff’s henchwoman, Dasha (Ana Gasteyer).

They wake up restrained on a plane, and Dasha is ready to torture Frost’s location out of them. Thankfully, Tuttle is able to slip his ropes, and with an assist from a poorly thrown knife and the Intersect, Chuck and Tuttle take out the henchmen and parachute to safety. Or at least, to a sheep truck.

NBC/ screenshot

NBC/ screenshot

Back at Castle, Morgan reports that Chuck was kidnapped, and Mary agrees to tell Sarah and Casey everything — as long as she gets to see Ellie first. Mary gets to see her daughter and explain things. Then it’s time for Mary’s end of the bargain.

Everyone converges at a bank, where Tuttle retrieves the discs that can prove Frost’s story from a safety deposit box. But then Dasha and more of Volkoff’s cronies show up.

So as Chuck, Sarah, Mary, and Tuttle run through the bank, avoiding Dasha and the goons, Charah decides it’s the perfect time to have their long-awaited argument. Sarah is upset that Chuck has been talking to literally everyone about his feelings except her. Chuck just wants Sarah to believe in him, even when she thinks he’s wrong.

NBC/ screenshot

NBC/ screenshot

Chuck and Sarah work out some extra aggression taking down Volkoff’s baddies — Charah’s such a good team — but Dasha recovers. She shoots, and Tuttle jumps in front of the bullet meant for Chuck. Tuttle gives Chuck the discs and tells him to go prove Frost’s innocence. He’ll be fine as soon as Casey arrives. So Mary, Chuck, and Sarah head to Orion’s base. Only the computer there can read the hella-old MI6 discs.

But when Chuck tries to load the discs, they all come up empty. His distraction allows Mary to steal something out of one of the files, something that wipes the Intersect from Chuck. As if things couldn’t get worse, “Tuttle” strolls in. He’s not an MI6 handler. Tuttle is Alexi Volkoff himself, and he knocks Chuck and Sarah out.

They wake up tied to chairs in the bunker while Volkoff sets explosives around the stacks. He knows that Frost was married to Orion, but he still doesn’t know Chuck’s connection to all this. If Chuck had just left things alone, none of this would have happened. But alas, Volkoff had to find and destroy Orion’s base. Chuck was getting too close.

Chuck has been betrayed by his mom again. But at least this time she subtly slips Sarah a razor blade on her way out, giving them time to escape, right before the base — and all of Orion’s work — is blown to kingdom come, and Mary and Volkoff have disappeared.

NBC/ screenshot

NBC/ screenshot


  • After talking to Chuck, Ellie wonders if their dad ever tried to leave her a clue about their family. So Ellie combs back over the classifieds where they used to communicate and finds an ad for an old 1968 Mustang: her dad’s car. Ellie picks up the car, and it has a note inside from Stephen, and unbeknownst to Ellie, the last Intersect computer hidden under the seat.
  • Honestly, before Volkoff started his crime empire, was he attending theater school? Because Tuttle was a gift, and I wish that Alias-loving, sheep-petting man were real.
  • Friendly reminder that Morgan compared his fight with Casey over the whole “magnet” thing to Chuck’s fight with Sarah. COUPLE.

Classified Quotes: Tuttle Edition
“I’d like to apologize for questioning you in such a harsh tone. And of course for threatening to rip out your throat.”

“I had my first sexual experience watching Lawrence of Arabia. I’m not proud of it. I came from a broken home.”

“Cool, a tiny weapons standoff!”

“It reminds me of that great episode of Alias.”

All 5 seasons of Chuck are streaming on Netflix.

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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