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‘Chuck’ nostalgia recap: Hail Hydra

Season 4 | Episode 12 | “Chuck Versus the Gobbler” | Aired Jan 24, 2011

When an episode of Chuck begins with Casey and a wigged-out (literally) Sarah duking it out in an empty building, you know things are about to get serious. But before we can get to that, we have to jump back about two days.

Morgan is worried that Chuck will go into a Cheeto-fueled dark side with Sarah gone, but Chuck is totally fine. Things are good. Sarah is making progress and drawing Volkoff’s attention, and there’s no way she’ll become a completely different person like his mom did. 

But Sarah is already a different person. She’s decked out in full leather and black hair, and she’s in Volkoff’s office. She gives Volkoff her undercover party line — she wants to cash out so she and Chuck can build a life together away from the CIA. Volkoff is picking up what Sarah is putting down, but then Mary interrupts their meeting.



Mary is wary of Sarah’s true intentions, and she warns Volkoff that Sarah will betray him. But Volkoff reminds Mary that betrayal was her original intention, too, and look how close they are now! He’s confident he can use Sarah to his advantage, and Mary has the perfect idea of where to start: Sarah can break Yuri the Gobbler out of prison. Who doesn’t love a good suicide mission?

Later, Mary corners Sarah in the compound’s solitary blind spot and gives her some intel on Yuri. He’s Volkoff’s most trusted bodyguard and his connection to the Hydra network. (No, not that one.) Hydra is Volkoff’s network of weapons sellers — it’s more important than Volkoff himself — and things have slowed down since Yuri was arrested.

If Sarah’s going to break out Yuri, she’s going to need some help. So she breaks into Castle to recruit her boys. Casey and Morgan pose as guards bringing in a transfer prisoner: Chuck. While Morgan and Casey distract the guards with birthday cake, Chuck moves to dethrone the Gobbler as top dog. But there’s just one problem: He’s enormous. But with a little help from the Intersect (and a giant weight from the barbells), Chuck takes him down, and Sarah smuggles him back to Volkoff.



But Volkoff is disappointed that one of his best guys got arrested, so he shoots him in the head and plucks out his eyeball. How’s THAT for an employee evaluation.

Volkoff informs Mary and Sarah that Yuri didn’t just know about Hydra — he was Hydra. Or rather, his fake eyeball was. Hydra is how Volkoff communicates with his people and how he sees (hehe) everything. So he copies it to a more secure server and destroys the eye. (Human error, you know?)

Back in Burbank, a post-mission Chuck is bummed and missing Sarah after realizing she’s not coming back as soon as he had hoped. So Casey and Morgan invite him to play a board game with them. (Can you imagine season 1 Casey playing a board game with Chuck and Morgan? Started from the bottom …)

Casey gets a text from Sarah, and it’s not from her encrypted line. Something’s up, and Volkoff is probably nearby, so Casey goes to meet her alone.

It turns out Volkoff knows Casey gave Sarah an assist during Yuri’s escape; he buys Sarah’s story that she was using him, but he wants her to kill Casey anyway. Mary will go with her to make sure it’s done right, and as additional backup, Volkoff will be watching them through the cameras.

Sarah doesn’t have another choice. She goes up to fight Casey, but she fills him in on the situation between punches when they’re facing away from the cameras. They devise a plan: Sarah can throw Casey out the window. There’s a platform a few stories down, and Casey promises he’ll be fine.

But Chuck doesn’t know the plan. He’s worried about his team, and he can’t sit around and wait. So he goes after Casey and gets caught by Volkoff and his goons. And then Volkoff makes him watch Sarah “kill” Casey. Casey makes his landing on the platform, but then the platform breaks, causing him to fall the rest of the way to the ground. He’s alive, but it’s worse than they planned.

Volkoff knocks Chuck out and leaves him behind, as the Volkoff crew heads back to HQ. A comatose Casey is hospitalized, and Sarah has to embrace her undercover life. She takes Mary’s advice and declines Chuck’s attempts to call. If she’s going to get through this, she needs some distance.




  • Devon can’t commit to a baby name, so Ellie pretends she’s in love with the name Grunka (which is really the name of a set of IKEA spoons). Devon caves. Baby Bartowski is going to be named Clara. Score one for Ellie.
  • Morgan realizes he’s in love with Alex when she wears his collectible, previously unworn Back to the Future shirt while sloppily eating cold pizza and orange juice — and he doesn’t mind. Now he’s just gotta figure out how to tell her. Casey’s advice — just build her a shelf — isn’t exactly the way to go …
  • Mary manages to snag a piece of the broken Hydra eye and get it slipped to Casey during his fight with Sarah, but with Casey in a coma, no one knows where it is …

Classified Quotes

“The reason you’re going to trust me is because I’m not going to kill you right here and right now.” –Sarah

“Right now she’s saying she loves me … or she’s planning on buying a Buick. I can’t really tell. It’s a very confusing language.” –Chuck

“I love sourdough!” –Morgan (This is probably a throwaway/improved line but it made me laugh hysterically.)

“Have fun with it!” –Volkoff’s advice about killing your friends

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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