Chuck 2.13 “Chuck Versus the Suburbs” Recap

chuck_outsideGreetings everyone. Corporal Vandolay here. I am honored that I will be providing recaps for Chuck, one of the best shows on television. This is my first, so please excuse any kinks. Rest assured, the kinks will still be there for every recap, but I won’t have an excuse on those. With that, let’s get down to business…

Who Guest Stars?
Andy Richter (not saving the universe), Jenny McCarthy (with clothes, without Jim Carrey), Brian Thompson (That creepy Alien Bounty Hunter guy from the X-Files)

What Does TV Guide Say?
Chuck and Sarah go undercover as a happily married couple in suburbia. There, they meet colorful community denizens, including a merry neighbor (Andy Richter) and a seductive siren (Jenny McCarthy), who sets out to win Chuck’s affections. Meanwhile, Big Mike’s wife files for divorce, spiraling the Buy More leader in an overly foul funk. As such, the store staffers set him up on a dating Web site.

What’s The Episode Really About?
Well, they are pretty good at giving you the nuts and bolts. But, here’s what really happens…

We open with an A Clockwork Orange eyeball as a guy is strapped in (voluntarily, apparently), preparing to be ‘tested.’Red ‘intersect-type images begin to flash over his face and he screams.

Cut to the interior of Buy More. It is Valentine’s Day, and while people are not screaming like the guy we just saw, they are having just as bad a day inside of the store. It seems that Big Mike is in a very bad mood and is coming down hard on everyone to work, work, work! Chuck and Sarah don’t want to be forced into doing something this evening, but Morgan presses them and they make plans. The staff are speculating on what is wrong with Big Mike, when Chuck just offers to go and ask. Inside of Mike’s office, we find out the answer — Big Mike’s wife served him with divorce papers today. Ugh!

That night, we are at Chuck’s house. There are plenty of open Chinese food containers and Sara is watching a movie while Chuck plays a hand-held game. Sarah asks if they are having the worst Valentine’s Day, to which Chuck replies that there must be someone, somewhere having a worse one. Cut to Casey at home, drinking alone while watching an old war documentary. General Beckman cuts in to his program and informs Casey that one of there lost agents turned up in the valley (the same A Clockwork Orange guy from the opening). Unfortunately, they don’t know what he was doing or why, and his mind is a bit on the scrambled side, so they can’t ask him. He is strapped to a bed, simply saying the word ‘salamander’over and over. All the agency knows is where he was living: a cul de sac division called Meadow Brook. So, our heroes must go undercover to find out on what our crazy agent was working. Casey delivers the good news to non-love-birds Chuck and Sarah: they’re playing a married couple!

After the commercial, Chuck is packing for the mission — choosing more mature, ‘dad’clothes. He tells his sister that Sarah and he are house-sitting for a week, and we are off! ‘Once in a Lifetime’by the Talking Heads sets the perfect stage as Chuck drives in to the new neighborhood and sees all of his new neighbors. Literally. They are all outside of their respective houses. How Stepford of them. It continues as he walks into his perfect house and see photos of his perfect life with Sarah, including a family dog! Sarah then steps in, holding the world’s biggest bowl of potato salad. It seems that Chuck is just in time to go cook for the house-warming party they are throwing. Here, Chuck meets all of his neighbors by name, though the ringleader of the block seems to be Andy Richter. He plays the over-bearing-neighbor-you-hope-you-never-have to perfection.

Meanwhile, back at the Buy More, the staff decides to hatch a plan to get Big Mike laid using the internet. So, they create a profile on a dating website, lying about everything possible — from his height and weight to his job (A shipping magnate!). Mike is reluctant to partake until he sees the hotties that come up as potential matches for his profile. Let the dating begin…

Back at the party, Chuck is milling about off to the side, looking quite bored. That’s when Jenny McCarthy finds him, and shares that she doesn’t like parties either. Then, some unabashed prowling ensues as she propositions Chuck to come to her house anytime for a little fun on the side. She is married to the Alien Bounty Hunter, but he travels a lot, so she is free. Being Chuck, this unnerves and scares him, and he flees to take a sidebar with Casey and Sarah. It seems that he didn’t flash on any of the neighbors. Maybe they are all clean. Nope. Not so fast. It seems that Casey has found a bug in one of the entrees that the neighbors brought over. And not just any bug, one that was stolen from the CIA in 2006 by FULCRUM.

The next morning Chuck comes downstairs to find Sarah playing domestic diva and cooking him breakfast. She is quite at ease in this ‘normal’chuck_sarah_eatingsetting and Chuck wistfully admires her and thinks of all the future possibilities. The perfect couple continues as Chuck goes off to work, Sarah giving her ‘sweetie’a grocery list and a peck in the driveway. All is great with ‘I Can See Clearly Now’playing as Chuck drives off and arrives at Buy More. And abruptly, it ends, as Casey takes the note to reveal invisible ink on it — a covert note from Sarah to Casey. It seems the Alien Bounty Hunter is an ex-CIA psi-ops officer who has also be purchasing some high-grade technical equipment. They need Chuck to get into his house and see what’s on his computer. How? Why, use the open invite for sex that his wife gave Chuck of course!

Chuck goes to the house and our cougar is pleasantly surprised to see him. She takes him upstairs and proceeds to take off his clothes (down to a t-shirt and boxers — no skin ladies. sorry!) and handcuff him to the bed (with fuzzy red ones!). Only Chuck’s incessant chatter stops them from jumping into it right away as he asks for a drink. Jenny leaves and Chuck asks for help (via his ear piece device — all good spies have them) getting out of the handcuffs. Casey says it’s easy, just break a small bone in your hand and slip out. Uh, no! Chuck isn’t into that. Instead, he spots the keys on the nightstand and grabs them with his feet and escapes. He finds the computer in question, but it is password protected. Looking around he sees some salamanders — the same word out crazy agent was saying. He types it in and access is granted. The pc says it is running a test sequence and bam — the same red-tinted images flash over Chuck as we saw in the opening. Looks an awful lot like an intersect to me. The stop and Chuck drops.

Alien Bounty Hunter arrives home and Casey moves towards the house to rescue Chuck. Inside ABH asks his wife is she’d tested Chuck yet. He knew! She says no, but he is handcuffed upstairs. They get upstairs, but no Chuck! They go the computer room and — no Chuck! But, they do see he ran the test and survived. He IS their man. Outside, Casey approaches the house to see Chuck, in his underwear, on the roof, climbing down and away. He then walks around the cul de sac, in full view of ALL the neighbors (don’t these people work?!) until he gets home. Sarah is waiting for him and gives him a slap before turning around and going inside of the house.

Debriefing at the sub-basement HQ, the General pulls Chuck off the mission, but sends Casey and Sarah to lock down the neighborhood. Chuck protests, but to no avail. Cut to the Buy More, where Big Mike is readying to go out on his date. The staff guys are all encouraging him to lie to close the deal. He is hesitant and asks Chuck, who just strolled in from the HQ, dejected from being off the mission, if he should lie to this woman. Chuck asks if he wants a relationship founded on lies. The staff answer a resounding yes.

caseyChuck is now at his locker and a paper falls out with the name of the suburban development on it. He flashes. It seems that the whole neighborhood is a FULCRUM front. The test download he received from the ABH computer gave him this new info, allowing him to flash. He immediately calls Sarah to warn her, but she is busy talking with Casey, so he must leave a message. Outside, Casey is in the cable truck when Andy Richter comes up to him to express worry over some interference he is getting with his cable. Distracted, Andy tazers Casey. At the house, Andy’s wife brings Sarah brownies…and a gun. It seems Chuck’s warnings are just a tad too late. Chuck then arrives at their house and Andy is waiting for him. Chuck flashes on him, then turns and sees all of his neighbors (no, I don’t think they do work jobs after all), flashing on each one as a FULCRUM agent. Andy tazers a distracted Chuck, and down he goes.

Chuck awakens in the opening scene lab, strapped in like another A Clockwork Orange subject. It seems that FULCRUM is completing an abandoned CIA project that allows encoded data to be streamed into an agent’s brain via digital images. Hey, they’re building an intersect! Sarah is handcuffed off to the side, helplessly watching Chuck. Chuck says he’ll do whatever they want, but just let Sarah go. To this, our FULCRUM agents laugh and tell Chuck that Sarah’s feelings for him aren’t real — it’s all part of her job. They the leave Chuck and go to the control room, preparing to give him the full blast of their program.

In another holding room, Casey is handcuffed and alone. He presses on his hand and breaks the small bone he told Chuck about earlier. What do you know — it does work! He gets the cuffs off and is out the door, looking for the control room. But, while he is looking for it, FULCRUM blasts Chuck with their program, seemingly overloading his brain. Once the program is over, they come is and Chuck looks like ‘toast.’FULCRUM is preparing to dump him, when he suddenly wakes up! It seems that it worked! Chuck is now FULCRUM-infused. As they talk with him to determine how he is, Chuck sees Casey sneak into the control room. He plays up that he is with FULCRUM and assents to them testing the device on Sarah next. However, before they do, he wants to tell “Agent Walker” one thing. He leans in and says ‘close your eyes.’He covers her ears and Casey runs the program, frying the brains of all the FULCRUM agents in the room. After the program is done, Casey comes in and asks: ‘somebody call the cable guy?’

The epilogue shows the CIA cleaning up the lab, taking agent bodes and other red shirts away. At HQ, Sarah is being debriefed by the General, who tells her that FULCRUM is dangerously close to creating their own intersect. This means Chuck’s life is in even more danger now than before. She understands this and leaves to find Chuck upstairs in the yogurt store waiting for her. He asks her if she’d like to go back to the house, since they should still be house-sitting, and enjoy a nice, quiet night hanging out together. Sarah shuts him down, telling him the mission is over and she and Casey need to clean everything there up. To add insult to injury, as he is about to leave, she asks for his fake wedding ring back. Ouch!

Having a better time in the Buy More, Big Mike is flying high from his date. It seems that everything went extremely well and they did things morgan‘that are probably illegal.’So well, in fact, he invited his date to the Buy More to come clean so that they can have an honest relationship. She arrives, a bit nervous as to why. Big Mike confesses that he works here and asks for her forgiveness. She grants it and says she lied a bit too: she has a 26 year old son. In fact, she thought he asked her there because he knew her son worked at the store. Big Mike looks nervously about, hoping that her son in Chuck. Close, but no cigar. Her son is…Morgan! Morgan looks shocked, seeing Big Mike and his mom kissing.

Chuck arrives home and talks with his sister, Ellie. She is eager to hear how the house sitting went. However, Chuck tells her that it was a disaster. He and Sarah are good, but they are not going anywhere. She looks sad, but he tells her: ‘Sarah and I will never be anything more than we are right now. And I am good with that.’

What are Casey and Sarah’s Covers?
With a mission that takes them into the suburbs, our resident spies have appropriate covers: Sarah is Chuck’s wife. Casey is the Cable Guy.

Is Captain Awesome in This Episode?
Sadly, this episode is Awesome-less. He doesn’t appear and is not referenced.

Does Casey get shot, poisoned, or otherwise injured?
Casey gets tazered unconscious. After that, he has to break a bone in his own hand to escape some handcuffs.

The Good?

  • This episode is directed by Broken Lizard mastermind, Jay Chandrasekhar
  • Milbarge wearing a toupee.
  • ‘To suck his…will to work out of him.’
  • The Stepford aspect of suburbia is skewered quite nicely.
  • Sarah reveling in the domestic side of life. It suits her!
  • Casey as a cable installation tech.
  • The internet hotness conversion factor
  • ‘Dirty, nasty, filthy love.’
  • ‘I’ve got a chain, too.’
  • ‘If the cougar gets a little hairy, you can always tap out.’
  • ‘I don’t even know what your affiliation is, Elvis”What does he mean, affiliation?’

The Bad?

  • I just don’t get the suburban development set-up. So, FULCRUM has created this suburb as a cover to develop technology that implants information directly into a person’s mind. And, what, they always leave one house vacant for the CIA to post agents so they can test them? It just didn’t make logical sense to me.
  • The neighbors were all, always outside. Anytime anything happened outside, not just one or two neighbors saw it — they all did.
  • Can’t Sarah and Chuck talk?! All of their missed romance/feelings is from the fact that they just don’t say what they are thinking. Of course, it wouldn’t be as good if they did…

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