Top 3

We at ChuckThisBlog love a challenge.  Sometimes.  But what we always do love is interacting with our wonderful readers and getting a good discussion going.  Our opinions vary, a lot, so lately we’ve been experimenting with a more group oriented format where each of us puts forth their own views and the readers, and us, discuss for 300+ comments.  So BigKev presented us with a challenge, which in Urdu is the same as opportunity (I told you, tech support in India…).  Come up with your top three Chuck episodes.  OK, so that’s pretty much impossible, but it got us thinking.  Could it be done?  Well, yes, with a caveat.  After the jump.

So we were thinking [Joe jumps in – Stop that!].  I know, rather a dangerous thing to do over the summer with no new episodes.  Kev raised a great point.  If you had to, could you narrow down your favorite Chuck episodes to three?  At first blush not a chance.  But think about it in another way.  Each of us loves something about Chuck, often something different.  We often talk about how Chuck may not be the best drama, or comedy, or action thriller, but it is the best drama-action-comedy-romance-spy-thriller-family show on TV.  In what is soon to become our next excessive summer hiatus project, we bring you 6 weeks of pure Chucky goodness from the authors of the blog.  Starting as soon as we can get organized and (hopefully, approximately) every week till the start of season 4 we will bring you our picks for the top three episodes based on one of the things we love about Chuck.  As we work through all the stuff we love about Chuck we’re hoping inspiration strikes and we can manage to pick the three episodes that define Chuck to each of us.  Wish us luck, and maybe think about what you love about Chuck and your own top three.  Here are the top threes in the order we’re planning so you can play along with the home version.  There may be a quiz.  Or at least a poll.

Top 3 family episodes

Top 3 dramatic episodes

Top 3 comedy episodes

Top 3 romance episodes

Top 3 action episodes

Top 3 spy episodes

Top 3 episodes

About Ernie Davis

I was born in 1998, the illegitimate brain child and pen name of a surly and reclusive misanthrope with a penchant for anonymity. My offline alter ego is a convicted bibliophile and causes rampant pognophobia whenever he goes out in public. He wants to be James Lileks when he grows up or Dave Barry if he doesn’t.  His hobbies are mopery, curling and watching and writing about Chuck.  Obsessively.  Really, the dude needs serious help.
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52 Responses to Top 3

  1. aardvark7734 says:

    I think it’ll be really tough but doable for the first six groupings. And then, when you have to decide to pick three overall, all of your brains will explode.

    Can’t wait. 🙂

  2. atcdave says:

    I like the “as soon as we get organized” part. I think that’s a free pass.

  3. ChuckNewbie8 says:

    Honeymooners, Colonel, Other Guy.

    See that wasn’t so tough. Of course I’d place those 3 in all categories 😉

  4. OldDarth says:

    Top 3 is easy for me too:

    Chuck Vs The Subway
    Chuck Vs The Dream Job
    Chuck Vs The Nemesis

  5. jason says:

    honeymooners, role models, delorean – easy here too (other guy has too much shaw)

  6. Ernie Davis says:

    Ah yes, you say it’s easy now, and then someone brings up Cougars or Operation Awesome and you start re-thinking. Then you think, how can I leave out Seduction or First Date, or The Ring… I mean come on Casey’s tactical assault of the reception hall combined with Jeffster, and that doesn’t make your top three?

    Yep, head’s gonna ‘splode.

    • atcdave says:

      Its easy, sort of, to pick tops in some of the categories; but overall is tough. Two come easy, but I’ve got about 15 candidates for that third slot!

      I’m guessing the episodes we choose for the overall will say a lot about what we like best about the show.

      • andyt says:

        Agree with that sentiment Dave, and I easily picked Nemesis and Ring(I) since I can rewatch those endlessly for their fun and enjoyment. Seduction is just so funny with John Laroquette.

      • atcdave says:

        there are so many good ones to choose from. You’ll all have to wait a few weeks to see my picks, but its a safe guess Andy, your and my favorites will be quite different! (Although I think your three favorites will all make at least one of my lists…)

  7. Crumby says:

    OK I’m gonna quote Frea O’Scanlin in her last chapter of “What Fates Impose” and say “this is one of those situations that led to things like spontaneous cranial combustion.” 🙂

    Can’t wait to see the results (and the survivors) though.

  8. Merve says:

    Y’all are nuts. 😛
    Tom Sawyer, Colonel, Ring: Part II.

  9. JC says:

    Alma Mater
    First Kill

  10. Joseph (can`t be Joe) says:


  11. Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

    It’s’not so easy if you can only choose 3. For me it’s the 3 that always stay on my iPod while others shuffle in and out.


  12. StrikerChuck says:

    #3. Subway
    #2 Honeymooners
    #1 Colonel

    Although if I were to do it tomorrow #3 might change.

  13. BDaddyDL says:

    I do not know where else to put this, but I wanted to let all of you facebook fans out there, that someone started a facebook page that is trying to get little chuck fan to be Greta this season. here is the link

    • aardvark7734 says:


      You know, I think Bailey’s a great kid, and I’d have no reservations about her being an extra or having a non-critical speaking part.

      But a main part? Only if she’s got the goods.

      • jason says:

        a huge mistake, maybe as sarah’s or alex’s niece or something, but not as greta, I am pretty sure the whole purpose of greta is to get a broad group of people watching once, hoping some stick – most bailey fans are already chuck fans, gotta think with your head not your heart on this one – plus, she likely would ruin the episode – on that note of getting people to try the show, I am hoping yvonne’s blossoming movie career will help, I suspect a plug for chuck from de niro would not hurt either?

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I have to admit Bailey seems like a remarkable little girl, and it amazes me how much she’s put into helping the show and the actors’ charities. It is also heartwarming to see how so many associated with the show have practically adopted her, especially Yvonne. I think it would be great if somehow or some day they got her a cameo or a shout-out of some sort, but even without that they have clearly done so much beyond what anyone could expect to make a little girl’s dreams come true that I don’t think you can ask for more.

  14. andyt says:

    In no particular order:

    I love almost all Chuck episodes, but if stranded on a desert island these would be the three that I would want.

  15. Judy says:

    1. Nemesis
    2. Other Guy
    3. Ring 1

  16. kg says:

    I’ll admit it, I’m not worthy. Therefore, I’ll go by season if you will.

    ONE: 3 – Alma Mater
    2 – Marlin
    1 – Imported Hard Salami

    TWO: 3 – DeLorean
    2 – Gravitron
    1 – Seduction

    THREE: 3 – Three Words
    2 – Honeymooners
    1 – Other Guy

    • Ernie Davis says:

      See, this is the absolutely fascinating stuff. Other Guy beats Honeymooners. Ring beats Other Guy.

      Please, feel free to expand. 😉

    • Merve says:

      If that’s the game we’re playing, then:
      ONE: 3 – Pilot, 2 – Tango, 1 – Marlin
      TWO: 3 – Seduction, 2 – Colonel, 1 – Tom Sawyer
      THREE: 3 – Nacho Sampler, 2 – Subway, 1 – Ring: Part II

    • JC says:

      ONE 3-Marlin 2-Nemesis 1-Alma Mater
      TWO 3-First Date 2-Break-Up 1- First Kill
      THREE 3-Honeymooners 2-Tic Tac 1-Subway

    • andyt says:

      OK by Season:

      S1: Nemesis
      Alma Mater

      S2: Ring (I)
      Tom Sawyer

      S3: Subway
      Ring II
      Other Guy

    • atcdave says:

      I’ll play this game, since it isn’t quite the same as the categories we’ll be discussing in the coming weeks
      1: 3 – Pilot 2 – Tango 1 – Marlin
      2: 3 – Best Friend 2 – DeLorean 1 – Colonel
      3: 3 – Angel of Death 2 – Other Guy 1 –

  17. Chuckaddict says:

    3. Santa Claus
    2. Colonel
    1. Subway

  18. Bernardo says:


    Vs. the colonel
    Vs. the ring (part 1)

  19. aardvark7734 says:

    Okay, I’ll play too.

    Not swearing I won’t change my mind tomorrow, but as of this particular moment in time I’m feeling like the three episodes that I most want Chuck to be like are:

    1. Honeymooners
    2. Seduction
    3. Colonel

    I know, no surprises there, right?

    But it doesn’t mean that much, really because of its volatility. I think the categorized choices will have a lot more persistence.

    • atcdave says:

      Good point about the volatility Aardvark. We will be posting these by category over the next few weeks; and I honestly can’t say that rankings will be the same when we’re done writing about it as they are now!

  20. hiswings says:

    I’m going to have to really think about my top 3 overall or in any of the categories. What is surprising is that not once has The Beard come up though. I think coming up with say a top 5 might be easier however.

  21. Big Kev says:

    Well, I’ve finally got some time to weigh into this debate. Given that I’m a compulsive list-maker, the chance to make some lists about Chuck is pretty close to my perfect scenario – so here goes:-

    Top 3
    First Date

    The first 2 are pretty easy for me. I love Subway and Colonel because they have all the normal elements of Chuck (comedy, sharp dialogue, family, good spy stories and great action) – but they also have an element of drama and raised stakes that most other episodes don’t have. It makes sense that they’re both “end of season” episodes, so the arcs have had a chance to develop over the season and the tension has percolated over the preceeding weeks. The only caveat I have about Subway is that they don’t bring PapaB back from the dead. Other Guy lost many points for me when they did that with Shaw, because it just devalued (for me anyway) the whole emotional resonance of Chuck’s first kill and the whole Paris scenario. Much as I love Scott Bakula, I hate the whole “back from the dead” device with a passion. The fact that Subway is STILL my favourite episode in spite of a back from the dead Shaw is a testament to just how good the episode is – and to be fair to Brandon Routh (for once) how convincing he is as a revenge-seeking psycho.
    I love when the show has the courage to put some real drama into the mix – and it’s why I’m not keen to see it go down the “Hart to Hart” road. That would be a little light for me. When the writers pick up the pace and manage to throw all the elements into the pot like they do in these 2 episodes, there is seriously nothing better on TV.

    The 3rd choice, frankly, is a lot harder. Tic Tac, Honeymooners, DeLorean and Marlin are all in the mix, but just on the number of rewatches, I went for First Date. The opening recap is sharp, original and funny and the episode just crackles. Mr Colt remains one of my favourite villains, we get to see a girly side of Sarah hitherto unseen, Casey creeping through Casa Bartowski potentially to off Chuck is genuinely unsettling and Charles Carmichael “going for imposing” is his most convincing performance as a “real spy”.
    In passing, I loved First Date even more after watching Pink Slip. Compare and contrast the elegant way First Date flips its opening premise and sets up the rest of the season to the leaden-footed and manipulative reset of Pink Slip.

    So those are mine. By Season, we have:-

    S1 – Marlin, Pilot, Imported Hard Salami
    S2 – Colonel, First Date, DeLorean
    S3 – Subway, Tic Tac, Honeymooners

    The first episode I watched ever was Imported Hard Salami, and by Marlin I knew I was addicted to this show. In Australia, they ran seasons 1 and 2 back to back, so I was lucky enough to see Marlin, First Date and Seduction as a trilogy so to speak, and I think there’s still a strong case to say they are the best three back to back episodes the show has done.

    May Season 4 bring us episodes as good, if not better!

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Kev, good post. I have to say I feel the same way about First Date as you. The season 2 reset was basically effortless. We accepted a new confident Chuck who not only came through on missions but could charm and ask Sarah out or bluff Colt, or even make Casey question orders far better than we accepted Chuck dumping Sarah in Prague. Maybe it was that they tried to reach too far, but I agree with your assesment. I also watched Chuck in “batch mode” and felt that Marlin through Seduction was some of the best TV I’d ever seen. Come to think of it, that feeling pretty much lasted through to Fat Lady. For some reason Gravitron was a slight letdown for me after the absolutely amazing ending of Fat Lady.

    • atcdave says:

      I’d agree First Date is a very strong episode; I’m pretty sure it will end up on one of my lists….

      I do agree some drama is needed, although I like a lighter tone than many here seem to want, that doesn’t mean I want all fluff. I also agree Shaw’s ressurection undermines a lot of what was good about Other Guy. And you all know I think very highly of S2, I think Ex and Sensai were the only weak spots in the first part of the season; its actually easier for me to list bad episodes (um, at least for S1 and S2!).

    • JC says:

      I was surprised First Date wasn’t listed by many people. It was a great season premier, it had continued the story from S1 but opened the door for new viewers unlike Pink Slip where new viewers would feel lost. That’s my hope for Chuck vs Anniversary.

      My only complaint was Chuck never found out about the kill order issued on him. It’d be interesting if he found out now.

  22. Ernie Davis says:

    Just for the record Colonel, Subway and Honeymooners were the top three in our overall top 10 poll.

    • ChuckNewbie8 says:

      I thought about Subway but in the end I had to go with other guy. I’ve been pushing for Paris forever…plus you know Shaw gunned down lol.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I agree. One of the most heartwarming moments of the front 13. If only he’d died a few more times. Sarah should get to kill him a time or two also. Shaw can be Chuck’s Kenny.

      • atcdave says:

        And don’t forget the tank. very heartwarming, like a HEAT round.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Really, forget the charm bracelet, it’s so season 2. I wanna see them work the tank back in somehow. 😉

      • aardvark7734 says:

        HEAT round, LOL!

        Too funny.

        More quirky humor like the ‘tank’ line from Other Guy is just what the doctor ordered for S4.

      • Crumby says:

        They have to give us the tank, it would be SO fun!

  23. kg says:

    This is Chuck afterall. Honestly, I think all the episodes are excellent except for two or three from season three which shall not be named.

    So yeah, this is a really hard episode for folks. You really have to do some thinking to eliminate so many wonderful choices.

    • kg says:

      duh. I mean “exercise” for folks.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      That’s why we’re going to do it a theme at a time. So our heads don’t ‘splode.

      • jason says:

        ernie – I am really surprised by the wide variety of the choices for top 3. Seems possible as the show matures, one of the flaws with chuck is it has not really made a commitment to a direction, becoming a romanitic spy couple comedy like I would enjoy or a 4 man B team that had serious drama in play, or a secret one man, one elf team who saves the world unbeknownst to his CIA live in girl friend and her assassin teddy bear partner or an OC like teen 3d love & angst chess match or somethin else – I know many (including myself) have made the point the flexibility is fun, but at some point how can one stay completely in character when so many different types of shows are in play and a different writer writes the show each week?????

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