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‘Chuck’ nostalgia recap: Bartowski family Thanksgiving

Season 4 | Episode 10 | “Chuck Versus the Leftovers” | Aired Nov 29, 2010

Thanksgiving can be a stressful time, especially when you have surprise guests and those surprise guests are threatening to kill you if dinner isn’t perfect. But maybe that last part just happens on Chuck. Let’s recap.

Volkoff has discovered that his scheme to kill Charles Carmichael in an explosion didn’t go as planned. He knows Chuck is alive, and he orders Mary to send his three best American assassins after Chuck, and to make sure he’s dead this time.

But that plan isn’t successful either. Without the Intersect, Sarah is left fighting off all three bad guys on her own. Then Mary comes out of nowhere and takes all three guys out.

Back at Castle, Mary tells Chuck they have to move now. Volkoff is going to know that his assassins were unsuccessful. Chuck’s not going anywhere without some answers. Sarah sees the conflict of interest and orders Chuck to stay out of the interrogation. But Chuck keeps interrupting. If his mom wanted him to be safe, why did she wipe the Intersect?

Chuck’s interruptions are interrupted. Morgan calls to warn Chuck that bad guys have infiltrated the Buy More (which is closed after a successful Black Friday). Then the phone lines go dead. Volkoff’s there, and he’s come for Mary.

Casey accesses the Buy More’s weapon systems, but Volkoff has his own hacker that disables them. He wants Frost, or he’ll kill all of them, and he’ll start with the unconscious Jeffster, trapped in the storage cage.

They only have about an hour before Volkoff’s men will infiltrate Castle, so Casey goes off looking for the manual override of the weapon’s systems. Sarah is trying to figure out why Volkoff is willing to risk his entire operation for just one agent.

But that question is quickly answered when Volkoff calls and demands to speak to Frost. He makes sure she’s being fed well and calls her “my love.” Oh. Volkoff is in love with Mary, which has given her access to a wealth of information over the years.

Chuck and Sarah think they can use this to their advantage during negotiations. They threaten to kill Mary, but Volkoff calls their bluff. If they won’t turn Frost over to him, he’ll simply throw a bomb down the elevator shaft; he’d rather she die than live without him. Um, rude.

So Chuck and Sarah take Mary upstairs to turn her over. But Volkoff doesn’t keep his promise — once he has Frost, he plans to kill Chuck anyway. Mary has no choice but to come clean. She tells Volkoff that Chuck is her son, and Chuck always uses this weakness against her. She couldn’t tell Volkoff; there’s no room for family in his organization, especially when they play for the other team.

Image credit: NBC

Image credit: NBC

Then Ellie calls the Buy More, throwing a larger wrench into things. Volkoff knows Chuck and Ellie are related — Chuck’s real name is on the Employee of the Month board — and he wants to get to know Frost’s family. They’re all going to Leftover Thanksgiving Dinner at Ellie’s place!

Volkoff agrees to behave — Ellie and Awesome are civilians, after all — but if he catches wind of Chuck scheming against him, things are not going to end well for the Bartowskis. He spins a story for Ellie, saying that he’s Mary’s CIA handler, and she’s officially be cleared of any wrongdoing.

In the midst of a game of charades, Chuck has no choice but to loop in Devon. Chuck and Sarah can’t do anything to stop Volkoff, but Devon can. He heads over to Chuck’s under the guise of getting sugar and alerts the CIA and grabs a weapon for Sarah. Then Awesome gets a phone call from the “hospital”: there’s been an accident, and Ellie and Devon are needed at work.

Once Ellie and Devon have left, Volkoff figures out what’s happened. He has to teach Chuck a lesson, and he’s about to shoot Sarah when Mary turns her gun on him. She couldn’t love a man who would hurt her son, and she won’t go back with Volkoff until he promises her family and their friends are safe.

Volkoff reluctantly agrees — anything for his beloved — and it’s enough to get Chuck to trust his mom again. But Mary is now the only thing keeping them safe from Volkoff.

Image credit: NBC

Image credit: NBC

The next day, Devon scolds Chuck for putting Ellie in danger. He doesn’t want this spy stuff near her, and he knows Ellie doesn’t want it near Chuck either. But since Chuck is spying again, the computer Ellie found might be of some use.

There were brain scans and a memory problem on the computer, and once Ellie solved the riddle, there was another riddle. Ellie didn’t know the answer to this one, but Chuck does. And once it’s entered, the Intersect gets reinstalled in Chuck’s brain. He’s back.


  • An Intersect-less Chuck and Morgan sign up for some hand-to-hand combat training … in a “strip kick” course, stripper poles and all.
  • Morgan makes a valiant effort to rescue a captured Casey in the Buy More by taping a gun to his back — which he then can’t reach. It’s the thought that counts?
  • Imagine, none of this would have happened if Jeffster wasn’t trying to sell Buy More phones on eBay to earn money to record their demo.

Classified Quotes
“All right, ladies, let’s grab a pole and make that booty clap!” –Strip Kick instructor

“You want to be able to trust your mom, not worry she’s going to shoot you in the face.” –Chuck

“Who exactly is Volkoff to you? Is he your boyfriend? Is he the reason you left Dad?” –Chuck

“Guys, I know kung fu — again.” –Chuck

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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