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‘Chuck’ nostalgia recap: Popping the question

Season 4 | Episode 11 | “Chuck Versus the Balcony” | Aired Jan 17, 2011

Everyone’s trying to get married on Chuck, and it’s not really working out for anyone. Lester’s parents—the Hindjews of Saskatchewan—have arranged a marriage for him. But he’s not in Canada anymore. Then he meets his betrothed, Jinsana.

Compared to the three 4s Lester is online dating, Jinsana is a 12. So he pulls out all the stops in the HTR, decking it out in full Hindu/Jewish/Canadian regalia. But Jinsana is freaked out; Lester is a lot more traditional than she is.

So Lester comes clean and begs for another chance. Jinsana agrees, and she’s totally into Lester until he rips away his Nerd Herder uniform and begins to sing a slow jam with Jeffster. Jinsana says “boy, bye,” and Lester is alone again.

Image credit: NBC/screenshot

Image credit: NBC/screenshot

Elsewhere, Chuck is finally prepared to pop the question to Sarah at a fancy Italian restaurant. He has champagne and a string quartet coming, and a horse and carriage waits outside. Then Sarah mentions her parents’ disastrous proposal, which was remarkably similar to the one Chuck was about to put in motion. Chuck excuses himself to call off the proposal, and luckily, he and Sarah are called away for a mission.

An agent was killed protecting a nanochip with the location and blueprints of the CIA blacksites in Europe. The chip is injectable, but it wasn’t recovered inside his body, meaning it must be hidden somewhere else in the French chateau where he was killed. So Chuck, Sarah, and Casey are heading to a fancy wine tasting in France.

But before he goes, Morgan encourages Chuck to take on a sub-mission—propose to Sarah while they’re in the beautiful French countryside. Chuck is hesitant at first, but once he sees how much Sarah loves the balcony at the chateau, he’s in. But first, they have to find the nanochip. They have to get close enough to pick up the nanochip’s signal, and they have to do it before French Bad Guy Pierre Melville finds it. Luckily, Casey picks up the signal in the wine cellar, but Melville is there, too. One of his men finds the injector, and his sommelier skills are able to tell that the chip is in a bottle of ’86 Chateau LeFranc. And that bottle is now being taken out to tasting.

Morgan does some research and discovers that the bottle has a stable on the label and a stork on the cork. By the time Chuck finds the bottle, it’s empty. He has to find the glass the nanochip was poured into. Chuck finally tracks down the glass and swipes it from a snooty wine snob, but Melville is right behind him. Thankfully, the intersect allows him to fight off all the bad guys without spilling a drop of the chip-infused wine.

Image credit: NBC/screenshot

Image credit: NBC/screenshot

With the nanochip recovered, Chuck can focus on the sub-mission proposal, but Chuck and Sarah’s romantic moment is interrupted by a grappling hook. It’s time for them to go home. When they arrive back in Burbank, Beckman is there in person for the debrief. Chuck and Sarah are going back to France to play rogue CIA agents. They can sell a fake chip (along with tracking device) to Melville. Chuck and Morgan discuss giving the sub-mission another try, but Sarah hears them through the vents. She confronts Morgan at his office in the Buy More. She knows everything; she’s in control of the sub-mission now, and they’re going to make sure this proposal happens.

Back in France, the drop with Melville goes off without a hitch (besides a minor scuffle with Chuck). Now it’s proposal time, and everyone is nervous. But everything is going fine and Chuck has the ring—and then SWAT drops in and arrests Sarah for treason.

Back at Castle, Chuck is lamenting his second botched proposal (and his near-fiancée’s arrest), and Casey of all people gives him a pep talk. He tells him about his own unconventional proposal to Alex’s mom and reminds Chuck that there’s no such thing as a perfect moment.

Casey’s right, and he goes to see Sarah, but Beckman tells them they have some things to discuss. Sarah is leaving. Her “arrest” was a set up to establish Sarah’s cover as a double agent. She’s going undercover at Volkoff Industries to take him down from the inside. Chuck tells her not to go—that’s how he lost his mom! But Sarah says that’s why she’s going. She’s going to take Volkoff down for good, and she’s not coming back without Mary.

Image credit: NBC/screenshot

Image credit: NBC/screenshot

Classified Quotes

“It’s like they’re stuck in the ways of the old country, with their dated traditions and obsolete dietary restrictions. I keep telling them, ‘I live in the United States of America now. I’m not in Canada anymore.’” —Lester

“This place is crawling with French bad guys.” —Casey

“Lester, that was the most uncomfortable five minutes of my life.” —Jinsana

“[Chuck] is the best friend I’ve ever had—no offense.” —Morgan to Casey

“Every time I look at you it’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been.” —Chuck

“I didn’t fall in love with James Bond. I fell in love with you.” —Sarah

“Forget about the balcony, Bartowski. All you need is the girl.” —Casey

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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