CHUCK vs. The First Kill - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CHUCK vs. The First Kill

April 14, 2009 by  

SHUT UP AGAIN. Seriously, when did this show get SO GOOD? I don’t even know where to start.

This week was basically an episode about trust, which worked really well at making the spy plot and the Buy More plot complement each other. Plus, it added some tension to the episode for me—when it turned out that Morgan’s trust had been misplaced, it made me worry more that Chuck’s had been also.

Emmett taking over the Buy More is such a disaster. Not for the show, although I would like to see this lead to his ultimate firing (I don’t HATE his character, I’m just sort of over it). Plus, not only did Morgan get the Kiss of Death (shout out to the Godfather movies, which I’ve never seen but still recognized the reference), it seems that most of the Buy More employees have turned on him as well. And fairly, at that—he led them down the wrong path. I did enjoy watching the scene where they were all meeting about what to do about Emmett asking them to behave. It totally reminded me of Wallace Shawn in The Princess Bride. And I loved the use and reprise of “We’re Not Gonna Take It”—in fact, this was a pretty good episode for music that’s been around for awhile (I want to call it classic rock, and yet I hesitate at referring to Twisted Sister as such, at least not yet). Plus, Lester in his Nerd Herd uniform sans pants? Genius.

One of my friends messaged me on Facebook after the show to tell me that she loves Chuck but didn’t care for the Subway product placement. I told her that after watching years of product placement on Smallville, everything else looks like effing Shakespeare in comparison. (Seriously, did anyone see the ENTIRE EPISODE of Smallville that revolved around Stride gum? Good LORD.) She said that mostly she wasn’t down with Morgan including the jingle, but I had to disagree, because singing “five dollar foot long” while giving someone a sandwich is TOTALLY something I would do in real life, so I buy it. Also, it’s right before lunch and I’m getting hungry, so we have to stop talking about it right now.

Also, Big Mike getting sent back to “gen pop”? Another prison reference! And I’m telling you guys, it never gets old.

As for the spy plot … wow. First of all, and maybe there’s a special place in hell reserved for me after this, but I never thought I could laugh so hard at someone having a heart attack. The whole thing was just so funny, with him about to beat Chuck with a baseball bat, and Chuck cowering, and then him falling over dead. Totally morbid, but it just worked for me. And I loved when Casey asked him the name of that move, and he said it was The Morgan, created by Morgan to be used when girls were beating him up. Ha!

That engagement party really did provide some quality entertainment. When the dad answered the door and called Sarah and Casey “Beauty and the Beast” and said Casey must be loaded, and then did fake punching moves on him, tempting Casey to real punch him, I laughed so much at that that I had to back it up and watch it again. And it was great to watch Sarah’s jealousy at Chuck with Jill, and Casey’s amusement at her. And I loved the running joke of asking Chuck if he was wearing a wire, his denial, asking again with a gun pointed at him, and him just being like, “Yep!” It’s pretty incredible that so much really serious stuff happened this episode, and yet they also hit just the right note on the humor, and it was a very funny episode.

I think that everything that happened with regard to Chuck was great, mostly because everyone seemed so in character. Window washing Casey was really funny too, and I loved his bitterness over them failing him on his test. And when the Fulcrum guy lunged at Chuck to throw him out the window and Chuck struck The Morgan and the guy slipped and fell, that was just the right amount of funny too. I loved how Chuck tried to save him and the guy was so surprised that Chuck wouldn’t drop him (because that would be a terrible way to die) that he agreed to deal. I was horrified for Chuck especially when the sleeve ripped and the guy fell, but ZL’s reaction was really, really good.

Billy pointed out that this episode had a lot more killing than we’re used to, which I suppose is appropriate since they were inside a Fulcrum building. But he also pointed out that we don’t actually see much blood. He’s right, but you know, I’ve never missed it.

I was completely not thrilled when I saw in the preview that Jill would be back, but you know—I really liked that she came back and how it was handled, and I was so pleasantly surprised. I think that the place where she really sold me was when she was hugging her parents goodbye. And I loved that they didn’t have to say that that’s what she was doing, you just knew because Jordana Brewster performed the hell out of it.

And I was glad that she wasn’t all bad, you know? It means Chuck wasn’t completely stupid to love her in the first place, and characters in the gray area are always so much more alive than ones that only exist in black and white.

Which, of course, brings us to Chuck’s future. I just cannot decide what to make of the general. I increasingly don’t like her, but I don’t necessarily see her as a “bad guy”—I think she falls somewhere on the Casey end of the spectrum, where she is just convinced she’s doing the right thing but lacks compassion. I can most definitely see where Chuck has gotten out of control and there are too many variables out there endangering him, so I find it hard to totally fault her for her choice. But on the other hand, I think it’s super crappy of her to make Sarah and Casey betray Chuck. It’s not like Chuck would be especially hard to take in, you know? Why do we need Sarah to exploit his trust in her? It’s just like, hello, they’re still PEOPLE.

I don’t think I was as shocked Sarah was that Casey would just stand there. I mean, yes, he’s bonded with Chuck, but if you remember in the first season, Casey thought he was going to have to kill Chuck, and he was prepared to do it. In this case, Chuck is just going underground, where he’ll be alive and protected by the government. I can see where, in Casey’s mind, this is a good thing for Chuck.

And Sarah … awww, Sarah. I think she was really trying to go through with it, but when Chuck started talking about how much he trusted her and how she was always there for him, it was just too much for her. I was a little surprised but not shocked that she would take Chuck on the run, and I think Casey felt the same way.

I’ll tell you what I WAS shocked by, and that’s next week’s previews! Did anyone else flip out? I swear, this is going to be the greatest season finale ever—I feel like they’ve really switched things up, and I am DYING to find out what happens. That’s right, dying—a hilarious, bloodless death!

Okay, one last order of business and then we’ll get on to the discussion in the comments. Billy got me the Chuck Season One DVD as a surprise Easter gift, because he’s the greatest boyfriend ever and because he knew I’d been living and breathing Chuck all week and thought I might like it. And he was right! I haven’t gone back and watched any of the episodes yet, but I have made it through all the special features, and they are AT LEAST as awesome as you’d expect. I know there are some great deals out there on this DVD set (I saw it at Target at one point for like $15, and I was woefully broke or it would’ve been mine), and it is totally worth a purchase. They have little casting reels, deleted scenes, a gag reel, and a really great feature where Schwartz, Fedak, ZL, and Joshua Gomez pick out their favorite scenes and discuss them. I’ve really enjoyed it so far and I still have so much more to go, so this is a totally shameless plug to go out and getcha one.

Alrighty, friends! I can’t wait to hear what everyone thought of this one—did you love it as much as I did? Are you too joining the Pee Panty Brigade (TM Patty, my hero) over next week’s preview? Did you like or dislike the Jill element? Was there anything I forgot to mention? And what was YOUR favorite part of the episode? Go!

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.


34 Responses to “CHUCK vs. The First Kill”

  1. JT on April 14th, 2009 2:41 pm

    As much as I loved this episode, I loved the promo for next week even more. Can’t wait!

    I wanted to thank you guys for your Chuck week. The ratings went up!!! You deserve the credit.

  2. Marianne on April 14th, 2009 3:02 pm

    I loved the episode too, so many things that happened will become classic Chuck moments – the Morgan Pose, Chuck and Sarah going rogue!! Fantastic!

    I also wanted to echo the sentiment above. Thank you, thank you, thank you for having Chuck week here, I can’t tell you how much us Chuck fans appreciate the support!

  3. Lisa (aka lmr) on April 14th, 2009 3:22 pm

    Oh gosh, where to begin… well first SHUT UP, it was the best. Perhaps favorite moment was Chuck and Casey in matching suits and glasses taking the test. They are just so darned cute together. You did miss one shout out, SB, ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ as they walk the very deceased Bernie to the car. And this week’s music, man a mix of 80s plus classical stuff, just amazing.

    I saw but now must rewatch (maybe as I do like being unspoiled) the previews as I’m not sure what it showed…but all the squeeing has me curious.

  4. Ryan on April 14th, 2009 4:18 pm

    I was wondering if I was the only one that caught the reference to “Weekend at Bernies”. Good call Lisa. I think, to me, this was the strongest episode so far for the “Chuck and Sarah” dinamic. Like you, SB, was really fooled by the trust issue between Morgan and Emmett. I was on pins and needles when Sarah walked into the Buy More to pick Chuck up. Then I actually cheered outloud when she whispered in his ear to take his watch off. Awesome. I thought “The Morgan” was hilarious. Great episode, and great lead-in to next week.

  5. Ryan on April 14th, 2009 4:55 pm

    We can’t forget the usually Shashank Redemption reference by Jeff. “I can’t leave the Buy-More, I’m institutionalized.”

  6. Lisa (aka lmr) on April 14th, 2009 5:21 pm

    I forgot to mention that I liked seeing the Buymorians all cleaned up – Jeffster were looking hot!

  7. SB on April 14th, 2009 9:05 pm

    Oh MAN, I totally caught Weekend at Bernie’s and forgot to mention it. AND I forgot to mention glasses Casey! That’s how you can tell how wrapped up in the plot I was, but seriously, it was hot. I did miss Shawshank though, so thanks for catching that, Ryan!

    Thank you guys for appreciating Chuck week so much! I’m completely excited that the ratings went up–does anyone have anything official on that?

  8. Kaye on April 14th, 2009 9:47 pm

    Yup, the ratings went up a bit and the demo as well! 😀

    I can’t wait for next week’s episode!

  9. AstronomySnap on April 15th, 2009 12:19 am

    Yes this episode was EPIC. But next’s week is going to EPIC x infinity!!! Im hoping that the incredible ending to this episode entices all the new viewers to come back next week. Im dying for it to be Monday again!

    Im still not sold on Jill…I think Chuck’s decision to let her go may come back to haunt him.

  10. Kerry on April 15th, 2009 12:50 am

    I loved the episode, and can’t wait for next week. The show does such a good job of switching between mostly comedy and mostly drama, without seeming like it’s wrenching back and forth.

    And, it’s a minor thing, but one of my favorite points was Casey openly trying to cheat off of Chuck during the test, and being met with the classic, completely unsubtle elbow lean/block by Chuck. Sometimes, it’s just grade school with guns.

  11. Phyllis Vance on April 15th, 2009 1:58 am

    I’m so happy the ratings went up! Chuck week did some good! Everybody should keep pestering their friends and family and acquaintances to watch!

    Ohhh, I am *so* excited for next week’s episode! That promo!

    Sorry to use so many exclamation points, I’m excited. 🙂

  12. Lisa (aka lmr) on April 15th, 2009 6:52 am

    I just realized that I will be on the west coast on a business trip Monday at a dinner Monday night, UGH, so will have to wait until I get home later in the week or watch on Hulu…the suspense will be killing me.

  13. Dio on April 15th, 2009 7:07 am

    I liked Jill in this episode and would be happy to see her back in the future if it fits the story. I cared for her this time around and saw what Chuck would have seen in the past in her.

    I always dreamt for Chuck and Sarah to go rogue in some ways since the last episode of season 1 when Chuck was supposed to go into a bunker. I knew Sarah would not let that happen!

    Can’t wait for next monday!

    You can use my video on Youtube if you think they can help Chuck get more viewers and another season in any way you like! Just click my name!

  14. Kimber on April 15th, 2009 9:33 am

    Whoa, look at all the Chuck love already! LOVE IT! And loved the episode too! Total SHUT UP-ness!

    Loved the shout outs, from Weekend At Bernie’s (loved that movie as a kid!), “Five dollar foot longs!”, the Godfather kiss of death, and everything else! Also – test-taking Casey and Chuck were HOT AS HELL! And Jill … even though she’s not my most favourite of Chuck’s exes/wannabe lovers, she was kick ass in this episode. Seriously. Though I still did want to bitch slap Chuck a bit when he “let her go” again. Tsk tsk tsk.

    Great ep, and now I have to find the preview online for next week, since my shoddy Canuck channel doesn’t show it.

  15. Joan Roseman on April 15th, 2009 9:53 am

    One more reference, from waaaay back: The bad guy falling after the sleeve rips from a classic Alfred Hitchcock, “Sabotage,” a totle that perfectly fits the situation.

  16. Tessa on April 15th, 2009 10:08 am

    Best. Episode. Ever. And miraculously, I think NEXT week’s is going to be like 10 times better.

    My three fave parts were the “We’re not gonna take it” scene in the Buy More, the “We’re not gonna take it” scene at the Fulcrum office starting with Window Washer Casey, and the last minute or so from the moment Sarah whispers in Chuck’s ear to take his watch off.

    But I think I liked the last 3 seconds of next week’s promo more than anything. For those that missed it:

  17. Andrew Miller on April 15th, 2009 10:16 am

    You’ve never seen the Godfather?!?? What are you?

  18. Kathleen on April 15th, 2009 10:28 am

    See, for the first time since she was introduced, I didn’t want to punch Jill in the face. I really think that deep down, she cares about Chuck. Yes, it could come back to bite him, but not in a bad way. I think Jill could emerge from hiding down the road and throw Chuck’s life back up in the air again.

    Casey and Chuck in matching glasses… SMOKIN’ HOT!

    Next week’s promo… there’s not even a word to describe it.

  19. Cheryl on April 15th, 2009 10:35 am

    I actually think the general is bad. I swear when we saw the Fulcrum board of directors a few episodes back the voice of the woman was the general’s voice after being synthesized. So maybe Sarah will be the hero by taking Chuck on the run and helping him to escape whatever fate the general had in store for him.

    I loved this episode although I must say that the actors did such a good job showing their emotions that it was almost too much for me!

    Oh and Jeff going on and on to the corporate guy about how Emmett had stopped Jeff from violating himself at work? Jeff gets more perverted every episode but then he has this underlying sweetness that takes the creepiness out of it.

  20. SB on April 15th, 2009 11:49 am

    Man, it’s been commentapalooza around here! I’m just gonna hit the highlights so I don’t end up with a mile long comment, but here goes!

    Thanks, Kaye! I looked at the site and granted, I’m sure a lot of the info was completely wasted on me, but I had no idea how craptastic NBC was doing. But YAY for Chuck on the up-and-up!

    Kerry, you cracked me UP with the “grade school with guns” comment. You’re SO right, and that part was hilarious. You know Chuck was totally that kid in school.

    Kimber, I love how you so willingly and enthusiastically embrace SHUT UP-ness, and trust me, you have not SEEN shut up-ness until you see that promo. 🙂

    Joan, NICE CATCH. I am absolutely positive that I will never pick up on all the things this show throws our way, so it’s so nice to have people pointing out the multiple layers. You impress me!

    Andrew, I know, I know. Your comment actually made me laugh out loud, though–I think it was the “what are you?” part. 🙂

    Cheryl, interesting theory on the general. It’s interesting–it’s like she’s a main character that manages to kind of fly under the radar, but I really think she could pop up again at some unexpected moment and completely change the game. And I totally know what you mean about the actors doing such a great job that it can be hard to watch–TOTALLY. It’s like you’re feeling all their emotions with them.

  21. Kimber on April 15th, 2009 11:54 am

    OMG promo. Thank you SO MUCH Tessa! That INDEED looks like SHUT UP-ness to the max! Wow … even after about 10 views, I still can’t get enough. Casey looks piiiiiiiiiissed! And the end bit with … the bed!?? Whoa. You can tell the season is wrapping up, which makes me sad, but it looks so GOOD! How is there even a snowball’s chance in hell that this won’t be renewed?!

  22. P D Yerf on April 15th, 2009 2:42 pm

    Just something I haven’t seen anyone else noting:
    Am I the only one who saw the split-second images in the fulcrum training video? There was a bloody hand, and a few others that triggered in/out like intersect encrypted images. Am I crazy or were they really there? Any thoughts on their significance?
    Awesome episode as always. I’ve been practicing so as to properly rock The Morgan 😀

  23. JW on April 15th, 2009 3:17 pm

    It’s interesting that Chuck keeps thinking the General wouldn’t want to pull information out of his head (his reason for why she doesn’t put much effort into getting Orion.) Since he had the Fulcrum download in vs. The Suburbs, getting information out of his head is a lynchpin to taking down Fulcrum.

  24. SB on April 15th, 2009 3:47 pm

    JW, I’m not sure I understand where you’re going with that thought … can you expand?

    And P D Yerf, I saw a couple of those little flashy things in the video, but I hadn’t thought much of it other than that they were trying to send subliminal messages. I DID think it was hilarious that Chuck flashed on everyone in the lobby. Ha! And I LOVE picturing you rocking the Morgan. 🙂

  25. JW on April 15th, 2009 5:12 pm

    Sure, I went back to review some scenes and I should clarify it. At the end of “v. Predator”, Beckman tells Chuck she doesn’t want the intersect out of his head. He then goes on under that assumption (explicitly telling Sarah at some point I think, but I failed to find it, that Beckman wasn’t trying hard enough to find Orion because she didn’t want it out of his head).

    But, if I understand the plot correctly, in “v. Suburbs” Fulcrum’s basement group loaded all their data into Chuck the same way the intersect was originally. Either that or it was just a test operation. But I think his flash on Blackrock in “v. First Kill” was from that batch of data, which supports the Fulcrum download.

    So, if Beckman knows Chuck is carrying that data, why wouldn’t she want to have it extracted? It could take down the whole Fulcrum operation. If she doesn’t know, I’m not sure why Chuck wouldn’t have told her to create an incentive to figure out how to extract the intersect.

    But what she obviously doesn’t want is Orion’s solution, which is to overwrite all the data, effectively losing it forever.

  26. SB on April 15th, 2009 11:41 pm

    Interesting, JW–I had never interpreted “getting the intersect out of Chuck’s head” as extracting it. I had just always taken it as ridding him of it. And I think they must have the secrets elsewhere since they refer a lot to making a new intersect. But obviously interpreting something like that so differently would give us really different experiences in watching the show. I’m curious to hear anyone else’s thoughts on this, if anybody wants to weigh in.

  27. Ryan on April 16th, 2009 4:31 pm

    I think you are right about the intersect information being elsewhere, SB. The NSA almost had a new intersect up and running and here we have a couple of cases where Fulcrum even has their own database of intel. I guess the advantage that Chuck is for the NSA/CIA is the fact that he can access it immediately with a flash and neither the Fulcrum or U.S. Government computers have that capability yet. When those computers have that capability, they would just need to rid Chuck of the information.

  28. Ryan on April 16th, 2009 5:18 pm

    Thinking about it a little further though, both Fulcrum and the government would have specific information they would want to extract from his head. Both sides are missing information about their enemies. Chuck is the only one that has it all from both sides. Chuck may not have all of Fulcrums intel, but he at least has ubdated information, ie. “Black Rock”. I’ll stop thinking out loud, but interesting thoughts.

  29. Toast with JAM on April 17th, 2009 12:33 am

    “Grade school with guns” a classic line, Kerry!

  30. Toast with JAM on April 17th, 2009 1:11 am

    another possible movie reference would be the falling of Hans Gruber at the end of Die Hard. I loved the banter between Chuck and the bad guy about how he wouldn’t let go. So funny.

    Yes, the subliminal messages were there. I thought they were trying to brainwash the people being tested and my first thought was “look away!!”.

    With all the hacking of (and especially since Orion hacked his) computers, Chuck should be keeping his webcam covered up. He’s doing his own research and he knows his room is bugged. They should have been able to see all his research spread out in front of his computer

  31. JH on April 17th, 2009 7:07 pm

    I think Ryan is moving in the right direction with his analysis of the Intersect and its contents.

    Chuck, as is the Intersect, is a device that is capable of analyzing the Encoded Images that make up the governments secrets*. His goal is to Remove the Encoded Images from his mind, not Extract them. By removing them, he would be destroying them. If it were possible to extract the images onto another storage device, the government would still be without a device to interpret them. Beckman wants Chuck to continue serving as the Intersect so that the Images can continue to be analyzed, not stored.

    Once the government has another Intersect up and running**, Chuck will no longer be useful; hence the kill order. They will not attempt to extract the images from Chuck because they backed up the Encoded Images. Again, the government needs a device that will interpret them.

    * – I am not sure that the Intersect is actually able to analyze the images. I think the Intersect is a tool that embeds the images into Agents. That is to say that I believe the Intersect is a device that creates the Encoded Images and embeds them into Human Intersects. Fulcrum mentions Human/Intersect testing. Also, when they start up the Intersect 2.0, there is a line of 6 agents who REMOVE their glasses specifically when the machine is started in order to view the images.

    ** – Fulcrum has alluded to the fact that the US Government (I believe) has cancelled the Intersect Project. Perhaps Beckman is looking to has Chuck serve as the Intersect indefinitely.

    BAM, ramblings of a bored individual…

  32. Toast with JAM on April 18th, 2009 12:25 am

    So, if the General is looking to use Chuck as the intersect indefinitely…then wouldn’t that qualify her as a good guy? She’s trying to save his life instead of getting the info and eliminating him.

    But I don’t think the government wants the intersect inside a human (unless that’s the ONLY way to interpret the info).

    Nice breakdowns, people! This show is more than just the funny; there’s something for everyone.

  33. Emily on May 9th, 2009 11:17 am

    This show is so amazing! I can’t believe I have only now found your great recaps – thanks for writing. I can’t wait to read what you thought about the ridiculously *Awesome* last few episodes of the season.

  34. Andrew on May 15th, 2009 1:20 pm

    Well The Intersect is the project and its contents. Because Chuck supposidly has the only version of the Intersect stored in his brain, they call him “The Intersect” and/or state that he has the intersect.. later, as details about its use in humans comes out, they refer to it as “an intersect.” It all makes sense since besides the machine, what’s in Chuck’s head IS the project.

    It was definitely intended for agents’ heads for interpretation.. that’s why his Standord Prof was explaining the encoded images and how the subconscious recognizes what one’s main conscious only saw. Also, when we see the video on the disc the Prof was trying to get to Bryce, we learn that Chuck was one of the best candidates to be able to interpret/handle the flashes that the programming of the Intersect “aids” when Chuck(and his subconscious) recognises an image. Which is where Bryce comes in; learning from the Prof that Chuck would be subject to working for the CIA without an option(secretly recruited based on a test to find candidates without skewing the results from natural), he frames Chuck from cheating.. KNOWING this, Bryce knew Chuck was the only person to send the Intersect files to, since he was the best known candidate to receive them.(a simple computer file would just be too risky and unpredictable to simply send to the government)

    One more point is that the FULCRUM agents were suprised he survived, implying that they possibly had an even harsher imbedding process that the original Intersect project, and undoubtedly backs up that not everybody is capable of receiving the information(or surviving it, nonetheless).