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What the Chuck?! The Chuck Recap - We all love cupcakes

281169So here we are at Season 3, Episode 8 "Chuck Versus the Fake Name." It seems like only three weeks ago we were left with an episode that managed to make a whole lot of people angry. If you don't know, a lot of people were upset over the way Chuck and Sarah both seemed to move on so easily from each other and find new love. They said it ruined the show for good and ranted and railed. Did this week fix everything up and restore their faith? Let's discuss…

We start with Awesome and Elle still circling the drain of Devon's inability to lie. Elle isn't stupid, and I think this is coming to a head. The two of them make such a good couple, and Awesome plays his discomfort perfectly.

HannahtowelElle goes to talk to Chuck herself and runs into Hannah. In a towel. Let's recap that. Hannah In a towel. This show loves showing off its stars in various states of undress, male and female, don't they? I, for one, will not complain.

So anyway, Chuck and Hannah are obviously seeing each other now, having slept together the night before. Though Chuck's stumbling about Hannah being his girlfriend is noticeable, isn't it? Chuck weasels out of it by promising to make dinner for everyone.

So let's check in with new couple #2! Sarah and Shaw. They're at lunch and Shaw is stealing Sarah's dessert. Sarah is telling him off gently, and finally admitting her problem with dating coworkers. Good to go! At last she realizes it and sees it for the problem it's been for the show. Throughout this we have someone setting up a sniper rifle. Casey, of course. They're on a mission, sans Bartowski.

They tranq the guy and bring him back to Castle. Smoothly done, I admit. Which is where the… wait his last name is Gruber? Really? Call McLane! He deals with the Gruber family. Anyway, Gruber is an assassin. The mission becomes clear, pretend to be him and find out who the target is. Shaw insists that Chuck should handle it and Sarah agrees with a withering "Chuck wants to be a spy."

Chuck flashes on him and learns his mission. What follows is a perfectly hysterical Casey/Chuck scene where Casey wants to torture Gruber but Chuck stops him. Why can't the man get a break? He's not allowed to blow things up or burn people to get information or anything! Sheesh! Chuck brings his impression of Gruber home to Gruber's bosses with a wonderful ramble about cupcakes. "Who doesn't like a good cupcake?" I know I do.

At last we're back at the Buy More and Big Mike is there, Jeffster is there and… wait Morgan is off in training? No Morgan? Hmph, well, all right. There seems to be a surplus of crockpots at the Buy More and while cooking to help sell them, the gang comments on how many women Chuck ends up with. He is kinda pimpin' isn't he? Jill, Lou, Sarah and now Hannah? Everyone loves Chuck. He's like a cupcake.

We go from there to the meeting. Chuck is making a good Gruber and holding his own, with Casey as his back-up until one of the mobsters, and what stereotypical mobsters we have here, recognize Casey. But let's hold on a second. Sarah is still going on to Shaw about the double life and how this isn't Chuck. How Chuck is slipping away from who he was. It's good to air these things, though we've all been saying them. So really, it's just nice for the characters to catch up and vocalize sometimes. Anyway, back to Casey, or Alex Coburn as we learn. It's a name Chuck flashes on but we don't learn much.

You know they'll get back to it sometime.

So Chuck has to torture Casey. How hardcore is this guy? He just let's Chuck yank a tooth out to keep his cover. Good lord, Casey is Batman, isn't he? I mean is there anything he can't do? Except maybe tell a good joke.

We get a great action scene when the cavalry comes in and Chuck's job is to take them out to protect his cover. He walks through them like they were paper and leaves Shaw to blandly mutter "Good job," to his team after Chuck's gone.

Chuck gets back to Castle and finds out that Sarah and Shaw made dinner for him since he was busy. We get a nice knife toss from Sarah on their sneaking way out. Devon cuts Chuck out and won't let Chuck spill to him, cutting off another avenue for Chuck to be himself. And then the big reveal! Elle always hated Chuck's Pepperoni Chicken. Of course, Shaw cooked it. But they can't know that. Hannah also takes a moment to make a toast all about how damned happy she is.

Back at the Buy More the next day, Chuck manages to leave his assassin phone (Assassin Phone is NOT Banana Phone, FYI) and the wiseguys call, looking for Rafe Gruber. Hannah tells them it's a Buy More phone and so they say they'll be right there. They show up, as Chuck runs out the back, grab his watch and smash it. So they can give him a new watch because he's so damn cool.

Wait. They don't care about the phone mix-up issue at all? If you called someone and got told "No this is a Sears phone!" would you run to the nearest Sears to talk to the guy you wanted or would you, you know, call back assuming you had a wrong number? Well. Whatever.

These wiseguys take Chuck to where he, as Gruber, is supposed to off his target: Shaw! Seems the Ring noticed Shaw isn't dead and would like to correct that. Chuck listens in as Shaw and Sarah have a long discussion about Chuck, how he is slipping away, really a continuation of their earlier discussion but with more meat. We also lean that Sarah's real name is…


We learned her middle name is Lisa in season 1. So Sam (I assume Samantha) Lisa … something. Please let it not be Bartowski. I KID! I KID!

Did I mention the scene starts with Shaw in a towel? It does. Oh yes. Shawtowel

Chuck talks to the wiseguys about him and Sarah, and they voice the audience's feelings telling him to just go for it already. That kinda annoys me, to be honest. We all know we are waiting for the characters to align and come together. Having everyone else in the damned show comment on it starts to be overbearing. But Chuck uses that discussion as a reason to go across the street…

Things go predictably Chuck squirrely with Gruber escaping and Chuck going over to Shaw to "kill him" by hand and … I loved the tip-off Chuck gave them that he was being recorded. They know they're being watched, Chuck manages to tell Shaw that, and Sarah can pick it up but he has to make sure they know they are also being heard, so they don't blow his cover verbally. So he calls Sarah "Sam" in a perfect move of thinking on his feet.

So Casey being smart keeps tabs on Gruber and finds out he's escaped and starts tracking them, proving his Batman-ness all over again.

Gruber gets there first and we have a fun three way fight, in which Chuck is too distraught and beaten up to flash. Gruber has Sarah and is about to shoot her. It's about to get ugly and BLAM! They both go down. We pull back to reveal that Casey took the impossible shot and made it, with a smirk.

In the aftermath, Chuck goes to talk to Elle and the tears in his eyes, the hitch in his voice, oh boy, he's about to tell her he's a spy. He is so close to breaking. So very close. But Elle sidetracks and brings everything back to Sarah and Hannah. Chuck takes the dodge and walks off to do what he knows he has to. He breaks it off with Hannah who is horrified. She slept with him (well she says "a" day but it was two) two days ago and now he's breaking up with her at the date he is meeting her parents on. I mean, that's low. But it assures that she won't be around anymore, doesn't it?

Chuck loves Sarah. And now he can tell her, he can start being himself again. He can feel himself slipping away, thanks in part to overhearing Sarah's conversation with Shaw. He can go and tell her and they can come… oh damn. Sarah is acting on her feelings for Shaw. She's right to, without knowing what Chuck is thinking, Shaw is a good choice, for now.

Chuck doesn't know they're crossed wires and paths again but this, at least, feels natural. It has all season, really. I like the way they've built the two of them sliding toward each other and then missing as they bounce like rubber bands back and forth, never managing to grab on as they go whizzing by emotionally. When it hits, it's going to be great.

So what did you guys think? I'm new to recapping so this might suck, let me know what you'd like more of (minute by minute byplay, commentary, what) and more importantly let me know what you thought of the episode, where you think it's going and so on!

Please note, I do ask you not discuss the trailer for next week. Let's keep it to this episode and only this episode.

Until next week, Team Bartowski!

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Shaw bugs me. I like Hannah. My hubby likes Hannah. Sorry, Sarah - we just wish the Chuck-and-Hannah thing had played out a bit longer.

Casey is awesome. Awesome is awesome. More Awesome without his shirt (and/or pants) please...?

Didn't miss Morgan. He can be funny. He can also be annoying as all hell.

AWESOME recap! Yup - you are now ranked with Casey. ;~)

Adam P. Knave

Morgan can be funny or not but his recent splitting with Chuck is an important note for the show to explore, I think. So I look forward to it and miss him when he isn't there. He's been nailing those scenes where Morgan acts, on the face like everything is fine and then slowly devolves to sadness. Shaw, I think, honestly? Is a Ring Agent. I have an entire theory about this I can post here in comments if you want, but I don't trust him. Which is why I kinda like him and Sarah. That's gonna get ugly.

Hannah was nice but let's be honest. She was Lou v2.


Yup. Totally. We've been saying Shaw is a Ring agent since he first came on the show. So, yeah. Sarah/Sam will allow herself to fall for Shaw, even though she's been so unsure/untrusting/still-has-feelings-for-Chuck...and then Shaw is going to totally use the info she confides to screw her over...allowing Chuck to loan her a shoulder to cry on (Run-on sentence much? Yes, thank you.)

Lou apparently didn't make much of an impact on me. Had to Google her. I vaguely remember her and her sandwich shop, but don't remember her dating Chuck. Hannah seemed sweeter and more charismatic. And my hubby thought she was prettier than Sarah. ;~)

Adam P. Knave

The text of my old theory, from the Airplane episode:

Shaw runs the Ring. 
Look at it.  Have we ever seen a
character touch rings as much as he has? 
Also, naming it the Ring would fit with the whole dead wife thing. He
had "an agent inside the Ring" that was his wife.  She died five years ago.  And this data of hers will turn the tide?
Five year old data?

Add to it that when he tells Sarah that he never leaves an
operative alone... he wanted to not answer Chuck. He was going to leave him
alone. It was that Chuck called Casey who called Sarah that got him
through.  But there was a backup Ring
agent, that when he heard her voice Shaw knew her name?  Really? 
He never leaves an operative alone... so the back-up Ring agent? Right.Also notice that up until now everyone wanted to "make
Chuck a spy" but Shaw wants to "Turn him into a spy"  Why are we SUDDENLY saying "turn
him" a lot?  If Shaw is Ring, could
he be pushing Chuck so Chuck looks up to him, so that the Intersect is under
his spell so he can TURN Chuck?


I actually thought that Hannah was going to turn out to be a Ring agent -- something about the way she asked questions all the time, "where is he going," "who is that," like she already knew what everyone was up to but she wanted to know what Chuck told everyone else. But I used to watch the X-Files, so I think everybody is a replicant, pretty much.

Anyway. I miss Morgan when he's not around, much like I miss Awesome when he's not around, but that doesn't mean that the next time we see Morgan, I want him to be topless.

Adam P. Knave

You want to nuzzle topless Morgan! ADMIT IT!

And everyone IS a replicant. Decker told me.


I thought Sarah's name was Jenny, from the episode with high school friends.

Adam P. Knave

No, during that episode we learn that Jenny wasn't her real name, either, but a fake one her Dad had her use while they were there, since they were always on the grift.


No no, Jenny is Starbuck's real name on 24.

TV is confusing.


Excellent recap! I think you're right about Shaw, but I also thought Hannah would turn out to be a Ring agent... maybe she'll be back one day? I like how they've had Chuck & Sarah dance around each other. I hope they can play that out for a while, I think it'll end up ruining the dynamic somewhat if everything is all snuggly with them.

Adam P. Knave

Thanks! Well I think there can still be a lot of drama and good story with Chuck and Sarah together, but I think it will have to wait for the end of the season. Too long played out though and it will really get boring. As for Hannah, I thought she might be a spy, but I am SO glad she doesn't seem to be.


Great recap! I'll look forward to these every week, sir!

Your theory on Shaw is very interesting... I won't be surprised if you're right.

Also, honestly? I think Chuck was stupid to break up with Hannah... and total dick move to do it while she was at dinner with her parents, waiting to introduce him to them. Ah, dumb, dumb Chuck.

While last season I was all about Chuck and Sarah/Sam/Jenny getting together, this season, honestly, I think Hannah was a better match for him... at least non-spy Chuck.

Ah, so much soap opera in a funny little spy show. I love it.

Adam P. Knave

I agree! It was a total dick move on Chuck's part, but it is also a reflection, I think, of where he is and who he is becoming. Or, you know, he's just a dick sometimes? Hmmm.


Great recap!

Does Ellie drive anyone else bat-shit-crazy? BACK OFF MOTHER HEN. Jeezus.


I have to admit, I think I've missed a whole season. It was good to come home, though. Also, I swooned a bit when Casey nodded to Chuck to pull the tooth. He is so hot. And forever Jayne.


I friggin love Casey. He's totally Batman ;) I loved the end with his lil swagger over the shot.
I for one would like more commentary in the recap :) But I guess it depends if people are using the recap as a replacement for the show or if they're watching and reading.

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