CHUCK Recap: Chuck vs. The Alma Mater - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CHUCK Recap: Chuck vs. The Alma Mater

November 6, 2007 by  

Episode: “Chuck vs. The Alma Mater”
Original Airdate: 11.05.07
GMMR Recapper: SB

This should be an easy recap week for me because it was pretty plot-heavy, and not as non-stop funny. And if that sounds like a complaint, it’s most certainly not—I really liked this episode on a variety of levels, and once again am really pleased at all of the possible stories it’s setting up. Onward!

The Buy More storyline was the B-plot this week, and was mostly about Harry Tang (I swear, I will NEVER get over that name) and his power trip as assistant manager, and how the Buy More gang is trying to take him down by stealing his “one remote to rule them all”.

The spy story was where it was at this week, since Ellie and Captain Awesome were going to a football game at Stanford, where they were playing UCLA, where Awesome was in a frat. Chuck was invited to go but declined, and apparently just now, after several years, decided to throw away his box of Stanford memories. In doing so, he picked up his student ID and had one of flashes on it. Casey and Sarah didn’t know why he would be in the intersect while he was in college, but it turns out that his professor that kicked him out of school was in the CIA so Team Chuck heads back to Stanford to get some answers.

Chuck finds his old professor, Dr. Fleming, just in time for him to teach Chuck a code phrase for when he’s in danger (“Are you coming to the toga party?”) and to say he was sorry and get shot with an arrow from a crossbow, wielded by Magnus the Icelandic spy (who sells intel to the highest bidder). Thankfully, Dr. Fleming doesn’t die but he is out of commission the rest of the episode and can’t tell them anything. I say thankfully, though, because I liked Dr. Fleming and would like to see him again sometime. He gives Chuck a note to give to Bryce with some numbers and letters, but Magnus stabs that with his crossbow too and takes it. Chuck recognizes it as numbers from a spot in the library where Bryce liked to hide things, so they go there and realize that Magnus has already ransacked the books, but Chuck knows to look under the shelf above it and finds a CD. (Is it a CD? It looked too small. I don’t know, not important.) He takes it into a room and looks at it long enough to know that Bryce joined the CIA their junior year, and then Magnus and friends come in and start shooting up the place. Sarah and Casey make Chuck leave, so he escapes to a different classroom and calls a bunch of the CIA recruits that he found on the disc and asks if they’re coming to the toga party. They do, in fact, come to the toga party, save the day, and Chuck goes home with the CD.

Of course they aren’t going to let him keep it, but Sarah does let him watch the part that says “Chuck Bartowski” and he finds out that he was going to be recruited into the CIA whether he liked it or not because he was good at subliminal clues, retaining information, and computers. But he never got the message to meet with Dr. Fleming because Bryce intercepted it and went there instead, and told Dr. Fleming that Chuck was a good person who wouldn’t be able to handle the CIA and he didn’t want Chuck to go through all that, so they concocted the whole cheating story to invalidate Chuck’s test results. So Bryce was a good guy who was trying to look out for Chuck.

And here’s the thing, you guys. I try really hard to avoid being cheesy and getting sucked into cheese, and I KNOW that the ending was kind of cheese, but you do not understand. When it flashed back to Chuck and Bryce meeting their freshman year, in 1999, which was also MY freshman year of college, and they were playing “Don’t Look Back in Anger”, which is totally from the Oasis CD that is the very definition of being sixteen years old for me, and it showed them dragging books around and bonding over being geeks … I’m sitting there on my couch with the dog snuggled up against my butt, and I’m all clutching my blanket under my chin and getting misty-eyed with nostalgia. Oh, they know just how to push my buttons, don’t they? It was all just so unexpected, I couldn’t help myself.

Man, this show just really throws me off my snob game. Like I want to say, I hate Morgan, he’s so stupid! But then they go and make him so loveable that I can’t help but like him. And I want to say, making Bryce a good guy is so lame! But I can’t, because I kind of love it. You know what I mean? It’s like, when watching TV, I want to be the cool kid with the indie CDs that no one has ever heard of and I’m all carrying around a copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and talking about how genius it is, when really, does anyone know anyone who made it any further than three quarters of the way through that book? Seriously? But this show makes me embrace the same parts of myself that loved Dawson’s Creek and got the chills a couple weeks ago while listening to Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler.” And that is what I think is sort of awesome about this show. It’s like it lures you in by being so over-the-top and you think that you’re laughing at the cheesy machinations of spy movies and love stories, but then it is so very sincerely cheesy in all the right ways, and it sucks you in and makes you care, in spite of your jaded, too-cool-for-school self. Like Sarah telling Chuck her middle name? Totally cheesy. But we were all into it, because we totally cared and it seemed really real. I mean, come on—everyone has cheesy moments in their lives. And everyone loves their own cheesy moments. And I am a firm believer that you can be as cheesy as the day is long and it can be awesome, as long as it is sincere. And that is what I love about this show—it’s cheesy without being cheap. And that is why it hits such an emotional place for me. And also because I am, deep down, a big girly geek.

Also, is anyone else holding out hope that Bryce is still alive? I mean, I know Casey is a killing machine, but it does seem weird that the professor wanted Chuck to give a note to Bryce. And yes, it would be a pretty predictable plot, but it’s not like this show is afraid of that, and it would be kind of awesome for story reasons, especially to the Chuck/Sarah fauxmance. Oh, and speaking of! Next week, Rachel Bilson joins us as a potential love interest for Chuck, which is weird with the whole Sarah element. And that reminds me of something …

I have been holding off on my Chuck Christmas Wishlist until, well, you know … Christmas, but what with Rachel Bilson coming on, this seems like a good segue. Plus, what with the writer’s strike and all, I figure the writers have plenty of time to listen to/read my thoughts and to think of ways to indulge my every whim, so I am just going to throw this out there now.

Do you guys ever play the “Who would play me in a movie?” game? You really should. Anyway, for me, there is really only one option—Olivia Wilde. Olivia Wilde is what I would look like if I were hotter, thinner, and had a more square jaw. But the eyes are pretty well right on, and it works. So here is what I would like: I would like for whoever uses their O.C. connection on this show (Josh Schwartz? Someone else?) to bring Olivia Wilde on as a love interest for Casey. That way, I can more fully picture what a cute couple we’d make. Granted, it’s a selfish request, I know this, but you know she’d make a badass spy, so whatever. You just do this one thing for me, and I promise to continue gracing you with my non-Nielson-family viewership. Sweet deal, right?

SB has many interests, including photography, her pets, entertainment, traveling and writing. She does have a day job, but that mostly amounts to her being a sarcastic young woman with a lot of time on her hands, which is why she appreciates the opportunity to recap.

Filed under Chuck, Chuck Recaps


9 Responses to “CHUCK Recap: Chuck vs. The Alma Mater”

  1. CHUCK Recap: Chuck vs. The Alma Mater — All This Nonsense on November 6th, 2007 12:12 pm

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  2. Arthur on November 6th, 2007 1:08 pm

    Great recap. I totally agree with you about the cheesiness.

    I hope the strike ends soon. As far as I know I don’t think they even picked the show up for a full season yet.

  3. Jo on November 6th, 2007 1:20 pm

    hahahah great requests, SB.

    You know, I love Chuck. I think it’s my favorite of the new crop. I hope it survives the drought, but I have one question….

    when are Sarah & Casey going to teach Chuck how to use a gun? Seriously kids. Nine weeks of shoot’em ups. The boy wonder needs a piece.

  4. Melissa (Jamatic) on November 6th, 2007 2:13 pm

    There was a lot of cheese in this episode, but being a girl, I LOVE cheese. 🙂
    I haven’t been loving Chuck yet, but this episode really cinched it for me. I’m a fan of Lost and to see some deeper meaning behind Bryce’s actions, gives it that little bit of mystery feeling that leaves me wanting more.
    Now i’m really nervous that the writer’s strike will kill Chuck, just when it was starting to get interesting for me.

  5. Amity on November 6th, 2007 3:23 pm

    And somewhere in the darkness, The Gambler, he broke even…
    I’m still thinking of what is on my wish list. Maybe more time flash backs.*

    *Note to writers: PLEASE no fat suits!

  6. allison on November 6th, 2007 4:07 pm

    I REALLY liked chuck last night. I feel like it just gets better and better. but i disagreed with you on one point: I thought last night’s episode was really funny. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed out loud at this show before last night. Like when the buymore folks are going through the channels and naming each show and then the OC second season is on one of them and he says, “totally under rated”. And when chuck mentions how leaving him in the car always works out sooo well. I love when shows are self-aware!

  7. Becky on November 6th, 2007 4:24 pm

    Thanks for the recap. I agree that there was definitely a cheese factor, but I also enjoyed this episode. I’m glad that Bryce didn’t just sell him out, and I’m also glad that it now makes sense that he sent Chuck the intersect since he knew that Chuck would be able to retain the subliminal images.

    I thought it was a good episode. I wish we had more casey. THey need to get that man more stories cause everything about him is hilarious.

    Anyway, thank you for recapping it for us. 🙂

  8. SB on November 6th, 2007 4:45 pm

    Hahahaha, I love all you guys! This is such a great crowd to recap for. And yeah, Allison, I agree that it was funny, it just didn’t make me pee my pants for like an hour straight (although that would be an interesting measure of success, both on the part of the show and on my bladder capacity). I mostly laughed at Chuck being sarcastic to Casey and telling him, “Way to blend in. Who are you rooting for, Death?” But other than that, just normal chuckles. (Chuckles! Pun! Gotta use that one next week.)

    And Am, you crack me up with your fat suit comment. Hopefully other people will add their wishes, because between my celebrity look-alike wish and your no fat suit wish, we are already off to a bangin’ start.

  9. jen on November 8th, 2007 11:28 am

    There are some great questions that still need to be resolved
    1. Will the professor be back?
    2. If the prof wanted to give that note to Bryce, does that mean Bryce is still alive?
    3. Of course, the remaining question, why did Bryce send the email to Chuck in the first place?