Sumertime Top Ten: Chuck Versus The First Date

Who Are You?

This week our Summertime Top Ten rewatch, after an (in my opinion) abbreviated trip through season 1, brings us to the start of one of the two most popular arcs in the Chuck fandom; the beginning of season 2.  With Chuck Versus The First Date, we are introduced to a new Chuck, who has apparently gone along for some time as we saw in season 1, Going on missions, not staying in the car, and generally getting himself into trouble while saving the day and completing the mission.  While he isn’t a totally new Chuck to us, he is a different one.  Call him a new and improved Chuck, after the jump.

“Who Are You?” – Mr. Colt

Who are you indeed.  We’ve seen Chuck, throughout the first season, deal with that very question.  In Tango, we see that he once thought he knew who he was and where he was headed.  The fictional Charles Carmichael never quite materialized due to a twist of fate named Bryce Larkin.  For Chuck the question remained, and would for a very long time.  But it is in First Date that we get our first real hints to who Chuck really is, once you get past the slacker who spent 5 years mourning his lost life and the unwilling spy still stuck in the BuyMore.

In a prologue for the entire season we see Chuck, facing a future freed from the intersect, or at least government service (or so he thinks) contemplating what he wants to do with his life.  Oddly none of his dreams include working at the BuyMore for another week.  After his years adrift something happened to Chuck in his enforced time as the BuyMore alpha geek.  He, and a special someone, started to see all the possibilities ahead for him, if he could only free himself from being “The” intersect.

But the future is a tricky thing, it doesn’t always work out like you want it to, or think it will, and today’s burden may seem like an opportunity by the end of the season.  See a someone has come along and flipped Chuck on his head, and it isn’t Tony Robins.  The limited life Chuck lives is no longer enough for him, and as set up in this episode, season 2 will be a quest to free himself from the limits imposed on him.  But he isn’t the only one looking at the limits of their life and what their future offers, or perhaps the possibilities a change could offer.

That is the single dumbest story I’ve ever heard” – Mr. Colt

So I guess it’s a good idea, when returning after a nine month hiatus, to grab people’s attention right away.  Far better than the typical “here are a few things you need to know, or maybe you just forgot” the opening sequence with Chuck and Colt nicely summarizes the whole series in a nutshell.  And then sets up this episode and the big question for both the episode and the season.  Will Chuck live long enough to become a liability?

Still, for now Chuck is unaware and looking at a future, or the rest of his life, and he likes what he sees.  OK, not entirely.  An unfortunate bathroom incident reminds Chuck that even though he is the most valuable intelligence asset in the world, he still lives with his sister and works at the BuyMore.  Maybe it’s time for that to change.

Nuts & More Indeed

It seems someone has come along in Chuck’s life and flipped him on his head and shaken things up, and it isn’t Tony Robbins.

A year or so as the intersect, working with his spy-protectors/partners, and Chuck has seen there’s a whole great big world out there he wants to experience and see.  The BuyMore isn’t enough anymore.  Chuck wants to grab ahold of life and live it, and that just might include stepping up and taking charge, facing his deepest fears, reaching for the stars!  Asking Sarah Walker, who is un-ironically speaking, awesome, on a date.  A real date.  Their second first date (rather telling that slip of Sarah’s).

The Montage

Oh Chuck, when you are at your best nothing beats you, and you are often at your best with the musical montage setting the mood and the scenes, this time for the both the date and the mission.  Chuck has on occasion (like in Ring or Tom Sawyer) elevated the montage to art, and this is one of the best, and not just for the non-gratuitous scenes with Sarah in her underwear, those are crucial to revealing the character’s state of mind (she’s wearing the good matching underwear…)  Everything is set, but there is one last thing to cover… Chuck’s future.  Beyond the date.

The Future

Yes, it is plain now, Burbank and the BuyMore are no longer enough for Chuck.  He doesn’t have it all figured out yet, but he knows that much.  Chuck is ready to step up and take control of his life, as soon as he gets it back.  For now, baby steps.

The Mission

Well, that didn’t quite go as planned.  Casey, the consummate spy, just might be getting sloppy…  OK, I didn’t just say that.  But you have to admit, other than Sarah, did anyone ever get the jump on Casey?  A phony courier, unarmed, with the right verification, yet still, not the guy you want to give the second most valuable intelligence asset in the world to.  Still, Casey is nothing if not prepared for all contingencies with chemical showers, adrenalin, the whole gamut.  He’s still respectful too.

The Date

Chuck should never make promises about dates with Sarah (doesn’t he watch movies?)  Still, for a bit, it is fun to see Chuck and Sarah set aside the cover and connect as who they are and who they will become.  You get the feeling Sarah isn’t looking forward to the end of this assignment, much as she feels Chuck deserves it, his shot at a normal life…  And compare the second first date to the first.  You can’t help but notice the chemistry and connection that was there in the first is off the charts in the second.  But sadly, our favorite couple is doomed, frequently, to have those special moments interrupted.  And unfortunately Sarah is only metaphorically dressed to kill this time.

The Present

One drive through later, and Chuck wakes up, back in the present.  He’s still the intersect, he still lives with his sister, and he still works at the BuyMore.  (Ahhhh… Montage)

In the present Chuck still has to choose an assistant manager (AssMan) for the BuyMore, and I must say, in season 2 the BuyMore works.  With Chuck as the straight man the antics of Morgan, Jeff, Lester and Anna were the stuff of legend.  Welcome to Thunderdome.  Priceless.

“Hello Chuck.” – Mr. Colt

Who are you, that was the question Colt asked.  It’s about to be answered.  This is one of my all-time favorite Chuck scenes and episodes for what is to come.  It’s genius.  We’re about to meet Chuck, the real Chuck.  Colt doesn’t know what he’s gotten himself into.

While I admire Mr. Colt’s discipline, never break a neck cold, he really shouldn’t underestimate Chuck, or Carmichael.  As we will see all season long, bad guys do so at their peril.  You see, Carmichael, the Chuck that Chuck constructed to embody his “lost” future is where the real essence of Chuck resides.  Carmichael is Chuck as everyone always imagined him, and when the need arises, well, Chuck is that guy.  Nobody is coming for you?  For Chuck, no problem.  “Hey, it’s me” takes on a new meaning, and in an amazing scene (and some spectacular acting) we see the Chuck everyone else sees as merely potential.  OK, he’s got the facing down an entire gang of mercenaries thing, he just needs to work on the being dangled off buildings part.

The Fight

Sarah Walker, how we love you.  And how we love the fights you do so well.  We can almost believe that a bereft Sarah, with no concern for her own life, bent on vengeance, could be a match for a man literally three times her size.  One of the all-time great Chuck fights.

The Future (Part Deux)

Back to the future, and the montage.  Some great dramatic tension, even though we knew Casey wouldn’t succeed, and we find that Chuck, still the intersect, still living with his sister, and still working at the BuyMore, hard as it may be, is where he’s supposed to be, for now.  Why?  Well, we may see a hint in the next few episodes.  Chuck is ready, and not ready, to move on with his life, but in a way he needs to stay in the BuyMore.  They still need him.  And who else may need him?  Well Sarah may not be where she is supposed to be, but just maybe she is where she needs to be, for a while.

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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.
This entry was posted in ChuckMeMondays, Observations, Season 2. Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to Sumertime Top Ten: Chuck Versus The First Date

  1. atcDave says:

    Still love this episode. You are completely right about it starting one of the best arcs, the S2 opening is one of the strongest I’ve ever seen. And even if I already loved the show from S1; S2 is when I found myself replaying scenes in my mind days later, this is when it got addictive! First Date is the best of fun from the start; and Chuck confounding Colt’s men with the Call of Duty scenario is still one of my favorite examples of Chuck thinking on his feet. And of course Sarah’s anguished “NO!”, pure dynamite.

  2. joe says:

    And some of my favorite dialog is right here in this episode!

    Casey: Let the geek go!
    Sarah: Wait! Not out the window!
    Casey: Well aren’t we picky.
    Sarah: Why don’t you stay in the car???
    Chuck: Know what? It’s *never* safe in the car!

    Can’t beat that with a stick! 😉

  3. Amrit says:

    Also this marks the start of the beautiful monologues that Chuck gives to Sarah over the course of season 2 . Man was his speech at the dinner about what makes Sarah special so beautiful and sweet and honest and there was not a single line in there ( I mean corny line). Very charming…..

    • thinkling says:

      Right, Amrit. And it strikes me that Sarah has never had that type of attention before. Hence her insistence that Chuck Bartowski can charm Sasha Banacheck on his own … and her wager with Casey over Jill.

  4. patty says:

    I think one of the best things about season 2 Chuck is the way they show the “secondary” characters (by that I mean other than Chuck) develope. In this we see “baseline” Casey struggling with the order to kill Chuck, he doesn’t want to do it but he sees it as his duty to obey all orders (even ones of questionable legality). We are never completely certain if the Casey of early season 2 would have pulled the trigger but by season 4 we know there is no way in Heck he would do it.

    We also see a sort of baseline Beckman as well. I believe, based on the conversation that Casey has with Beckman and Graham, that Graham was the one pushing for the kill order. Beckman seems to have her own reservations but has accepted it as necessary. Graham is way too enthusiastic about it the (insert expletive here). By the middle of the season it is obvious that Beckman is beginning to see Chuck has value over and above the intersect and she doesn’t want him to have it removed. By the finale she offers him a job even though he no longer has the intersect at all. Of course as many fanfic writers have postulated, she probably planned to get him to download it voluntarily at some point, she had worked out that you can guilt Chuck into anything. Probably true.

    Later episodes deal with Morgan finally starting to grow up (although in his case it takes a LOOOOONG time). Lester chooses not to grow up when he resigns as assistant manager, his character seems to regress after that. In Tom Sawyer we see that Jeff once had similar potential to Chuck but chose not to make anything of himself, sticking to his best friend, beer. (sad and sadder).

    Last season Ellie and Awesome were highlighted in the Washing Machine vs. Big TV debate, although the fun of Chuck makes the big TV the grown up choice 😀 .

    • Faith says:

      Very well said! It’s quite amazing actually.

      I hated this Beckman and funny sidenote, I thought that Casey was going to be the big villain (I was uninformed obviously). I even use to argue that Casey might be the big bad and people would point to his patriotism, etc. Of course this Casey is far removed from the Casey of today and just in season 2 we saw a bit of that growth.

      Looking forward to Alex and Clara “growing” :).

  5. Amron says:

    What an incredible review Ernie! I loved it!
    This is one of my favorites chapters of all times. In fact, it’s the chapter I show to people I want to get hooked with the show. It is a very detailed chapter with excellent dialogs, as Joe said: from “my eyes, my eyes!” (and the brilliant “Nuts & More” joke) to “enough ammunition to put in orb Arnold Schwarzenegger”. It’s a dream chapter, because it had everything I love in a well-mixed fashion.
    It’s not a secret that I love the heart of this show, but what I love the most is the character development. Specially Chuck’s. That’s why I loved Ernie’s description of Carmichael, as the Chuck everyone knew he can be.

  6. thinkling says:

    Great review, Ernie. You’ve reminded me of all the reasons this is such a great episode. On the surface it is tons of fun. Underneath, it gives everyone the subtle change in direction they need to grow in S2. Once again watching Sarah’s face tells her story. It is simply a perfect episode. Action, comedy, romance, and Chuck in danger from two sources.

    It’s been so much fun to rewatch these early seasons from the perspective of S4. In S1, you almost can’t see how they got from A to B. In S2, you begin to see the steps to the future that is there waiting for them.

    One thing I thought was interesting. You said, The fictional Charles Carmichael never quite materialized due to a twist of fate named Bryce Larkin. If Bryce had not thwarted the emergence of the fictional Carmichael, the real Charles Carmichael would never have materialized at all.

    Chuck and Sarah’s worlds were both turned upside down in the Pilot. Both of them resisted the current of the future, the pull of destiny. Anger flared. Both fought in vain to idealize or justify the status quo of the lives they had before: Chuck by pretending to hate the missions, and Sarah by clinging to their cover. Denial ruled S1. Season 2 is a whole new ball game. Anger has yielded to passion, barely masked by the requisite cover. They are both looking at the future through a different lens, and denial is becoming harder and harder to maintain.

  7. Big Kev says:

    Man, I love this episode!
    I alternate between First Date, Subway and the Pilot for my all time favourite episode – but this one usually wins. For me, given what I like about the show, this is the perfect episode of Chuck.
    I’ve talked a lot about balance in some of my previous posts – about how the show, when it’s at its best, balances its various styles and components perfectly, not sacrificing one to any of the others, in a way that is genius. This episode sums that up. In no particular order it has:-
    Chuck and Sarah both at their very best. Sarah supporting Chuck, giving us a glimpse into the real girl (has Yvonne ever looked better than on the date?), but still being a kick ass spy. Chuck still being capable of girlish screams of terror – but also being confident, calm under pressure, and ingenious. Perfect.
    Mr Colt – still one of my favourite villains! Funny – but still menacing.
    The twist at the end with Casey – great stuff. It’s organic to the plot, it’s not angsty, it gives the plot a dash of drama and stakes and it’s completely believable in the context of the world they’ve set up.
    Humour – so many great lines!!
    As Ernie has said – one of the all time great Sarah fight scenes.
    I think what I love most about this episode though is the writing – it’s fast paced, irreverent, brilliantly original, but still poignant and heartwarming – it reintroduces us to these characters, and it absolutely nails them at every point. The opening scene with dangling Chuck and the recap is just genius as a season opener.
    I really love the elegant way that they flip the premise of a season opener too. This is written like a season finale, with Chuck seemingly coming to the end of his time as the Intersect and ready to move on. This gives them room to explore a slightly different Chuck and Sarah dynamic for a while – until the twist at the end sets up the rest of the season. Fantastic writing. Chris Fedak gets a lot of crap in this fandom, most of which I don’t think he deserves, but he co-wrote 2 of my 3 favourite episodes. Enough said.
    I watched S1 and S2 back to back, and I think the stretch from Marlin through to Break Up is the best set of consecutive episodes that the show has ever done. I’ll be honest, watching “classic” Chuck just makes me sad right now, so I haven’t done it for a while, but when that feeling passes (as I’m sure it will) I’ll dive straight back into First Date to remind myself of just how good this show was.

    • atcDave says:

      I give Fedak both credit and blame. He has created my favorite show ever and crafted some of it’s best episodes. But he also was behind some of the worst of Chuck, and nearly killed the show for me. He probably personifies the ups and downs of Chuck more than any other one individual. And there is no doubt on First Date he created a masterpiece. In fact, I think First Date is the perfect companion piece for some of the later S4 episodes to show how much the characters can change while still maintaining a balance of action, humor and heart that defined the early seasons.

    • BigKev67 says:

      @Dave,
      I’m pretty passionate about what I like and don’t like and I’ll happily debate and defend those views, but I guess I don’t take it as personally as some. If he chooses to take the show in a direction I don’t like as much, that’s his right. It doesn’t mean I think he’s an idiot who doesn’t know how to do his job. It just means he has a different opinion to me. When the show is done I’m sure I’ll remember the seasons that I loved rather than the one that I didn’t. And I’ll watch the next thing he does with enormous interest.

      • atcDave says:

        I’ve never called him an idiot either. CF is a very gifted writer who badly screwed up one season. That screw up has left me with on-going concerns about how much his taste coincides with mine, which is a major issue for determining if I will watch future projects of his. He has certainly earned a second look on for anything he might be associated with, but I will not make any statements about what I may or may not be interested in for the future; that can only be a case by case issue.
        And to be completely fair, I’ve always suspect JS was the main culprit behind what I disliked the most (the teen soap opera connection).

      • thinkling says:

        If it sounded like a story line that would interest me, I would watch with caution. I’m not sure I have the emotional energy to embark on another Schwedak production.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah exactly Thinkling.

      • jason says:

        I liked the episode, I have now watched a handful of s1/s2 eps since season 4 and have like them all – I don’t think I will watch any of the 17 s3 eps anytime soon however.

        The pace of this ep was awesome. In chuck s1/s2 TPTB had the habit of giving me what I want during an ep and taking it back at the end, or giving me nothing of what I want during the ep then giving me some hope at the end – often at the waterfountain ….

        But in first date, it seemed like this ep did the ‘give and take’ 3 or 4 times in one ep, which is pretty good stuff. From my very narrow POV, season 3 took away what I wanted in ep 3×1, and did not give it back until the end of 3×12 – that is a long time to be stuck in reverse!

        What should have replaced that chuck and sarah give and take in s3/4 and even 5? In my opinion, at least in s5, the give and take should be with the CIA – they are good, they are bad, several times in an ep. Morgan and the intersect, why wouldn’t Casey, sarah and Chuck take the intersect away from morgan the way they did chuck, hartley, boy & girl greta, etc? Or will that be part of the plot, chuck tries to get the device that removes the intersect from the CIA? Oh well?

  8. Amrit says:

    I agree chris fedak does get a lot of crap (especially for the first 13 episodes of season 3) but to be fair to him, if you include 3.12 and 3.13 the have had chuck and Sarah together for 45 episodes ( if we stop at 91) and 46 not in a real relationship. So that is 50% of the series! Thank you for that Fedak! Lol

  9. Rav says:

    I wonder what Sarah’s going to use for her name next season. I mean was it confirmed (apart from Morgan calling her Mrs B – nice touch!) that Sarah is now Sarah Bartowski. If she is and I think she will be, I do wonder what it will be like when Casey calls her Walker, I think there should be a moment where he is a little confused, lol, nothing angsty, just something funny and endearing….

    • thinkling says:

      There was the large envelope from Hartley to “Chuck and Sarah Bartowski.”

      • Ernie Davis says:

        (Cue Faith squee!)

      • thinkling says:

        Heh, I put in the ear plugs before commenting. Of course, I made no attempt to wipe the rather large smile from my own face. 😀

      • thinkling says:

        Personally, I think the name is one of the best things for Sarah. Walker was a CIA imposed cover name, not too different from her many names from her father, except it was legal. Bartowski is a legal name, but also a family name … two things (name and family) that she hasn’t had in a long time. It’s got to feel good to her to have a name that signifies belonging, a family she belongs to, instead of a name that merely belongs to her.

      • Faith says:

        “Mrs. B” SQUEE!

        Hey, I didn’t want to disappoint ;).

    • atcDave says:

      I love the Sarah Bartowski name; in fact, I really hope to hear her introduced that way quite often. Especially if Jill ever makes a reappearance.
      Prior to the finale I was thinking she might keep the Walker name professionally, but the CIA kind of solved that problem.

    • joe says:

      I really enjoyed hearing Morgan calling Sarah Mrs. B too. Made me smile!

      You bring up a good point, Rav (and welcome, btw. I hope to see more of your comments!). The name thing has been a pretty big deal over the years. A lot of us couldn’t quite understand the way it evolved, but my take has been for a while that Sarah has been thinking of herself as “Sarah Walker” for a good length of time now, since before Cubic-Z. That’s been her identity.

      And now she’s Sarah Bartowski. As much as we wanted to, neither she nor the fans could hang onto the Walker part of it for too long or too tightly. This is better. I have a feeling she’ll be pretty comfortable with Mrs. B.

      General Beckman and Casey, however, may have just a little difficultly with it… 😉

      • herder says:

        So do they refer to Chuck as Mr Sarah Walker now? Even Chuck himself recognized that as a real possibility.

      • joe says:

        Herder, I will be real surprised if Casey doesn’t do that at least once. 😉

        Or, perhaps Kathleen is going to have a civilizing influence on him earlier than I expect! Either way, we’ll see.

      • Herder says:

        I have an image in my mind of an episode where everybody calls them something different, Morgan calls them the Bartowskis, Casey calls them the Walkers, Fitzgerald (or whatever) calls them the Carmichaels and someone else calls them the Charlseses. Could be fun trying to explain the different names to different parties, could also throw in Jenny Burton and maybe even Sam whatever.

      • thinkling says:

        Funny Herder. They have plenty of choices. And I’m curious to see if the owners of the Buymore remain a mystery, or if there’s some mysterious money (or new power couple) floating around.

        Joe, do we have any idea if Kathleen will be mentioned/back again? I hope so.

      • joe says:

        Herder, great idea! It would be hilarious.

        Think, about Kathleen coming back, your guess is as good as mine, and I’d guess that it’s totally dependent on Clare Carey’s availability. My gut says that they want Mekenna to be in S5 (and know the fans do, and her tweets tell me that Mekenna does too!), so that potentially makes Kathleen as integral to the story as they want her to be.

        From where I sit, Casey and Kathleen together is a perfect way to wrap up Casey’s story as well as Morgan & Alex. So it only makes sense. I’ll explain that to Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak just as soon as they ask me! 😉

      • thinkling says:

        Thanks, Joe. I appreciate that. 😉

  10. luckygirl says:

    Does anyone know if SCIFINOW is available at bookstores? I’ve never heard of it but I want next Wednesdays issue…http://lockerz.com/s/115266420

    • atcDave says:

      I’ve seen it at bookstores, but not at smaller grocery store or Target newsstands Looks like I’ll be buying it next week!.

      • luckygirl says:

        I want it sooooo much. I hope I can find it. Wish they had used a newer picture though.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah that shot is well traveled. But its a good one and captures the feel of the show well (well, maybe better for S2 than now…)

      • luckygirl says:

        That’s true about capturing the feel with that photo.

        I can’t believe how crazy excited I am for a stupid magazine. I think its the Chuck withdrawal talking.

    • joe says:

      Thanks for that link, Luckygirl! Very cool news.

      And best of luck with the Chuck Withdrawal symptoms. I’m a fellow sufferer. I think one of our final posts will have to be about dealing with the syndrome, it’s effect on friends and family and its aftermath.

      Perhaps we could organize a fund raiser to search for a cure! 😉

  11. Faith says:

    Always a lovely read Ernie. I’m not a big fan of premieres; they often pack way too much background and not enough meat in them for me to truly enjoy it (with the pilot as an exception) so this episode tends to fall behind the epicness of Break Up, Seduction, Cougars for me (if you’re forcing me to list them in order, sadist!). But I do consider First Date still one of Chuck’s finest; all in all one of perhaps the best 4-5 consecutive episodes of Chuck in ever.

    You bring up this new Chuck, I like this new Chuck. He’s someone I could see Sarah Walker with, not that I didn’t see season 1 Chuck with her, but this one was confident, heroic and intelligent. Confidence perhaps being the most notable. He still doesn’t have a font for his 10 year plan, and he’s still working at the Buy More but he exudes confidence nonetheless. One can only assume that he gained this confidence through many missions (maturity) and of course under the tutelage of one Sarah Walker. This Chuck asked her out with conviction, and she was helpless but to accept. As for their second first date, SQUEE!

    Sarah: “What about me?”
    Chuck: “A girl like you, or more appropriately a woman like you, considering the fact that you could probably kick the ass of everyone in this joint. And uh, a smart one at that. Not to mention cool and…extremely beautiful, and-and you can stop me at any time with the compliments are becoming, you know…”
    Sarah: “No, that was very sweet.”
    Chuck: “Sweet. Gee, thanks for making me feel like I’m eight.”
    Sarah: “Well, you’re not so bad yourself.”
    Chuck: “Please. I’m fantastic.”
    Sarah: “Yeah. You are.”

    SQUEE!

    Notice that Chuck got her to go out with him again, for their second second date 😀 at the end there.

    Oh, lest I forget, Mr. Cole! Love him. Casey and Gen. B *angry face.*

    All in all a great read, though I will disagree with you about the Buy Morons. This was when it wasn’t working as well for me. Funny in later years I warm up to them.

    • Faith says:

      Forgot one more thing: Morgan said in this episode (I think) “so where would we work then?” A bit of a foreshadowing and really illustrates their relationship.

      • thinkling says:

        That’s always been one of my favorite Morgan lines, Faith. And this time through I thought of the foreshadowing, too. Little did they know!

    • BigKev67 says:

      You know, for all the great Chuck and Sarah moments still to come, that whole scene at the Morgan recommended restaurant is still one of my favorites. The glimpse of the real Sarah is so wonderful and striking because it comes so relatively early and is such a contrast to the closed off agent of Season 1. And Chuck is almost perfect in this whole episode – funny, confident and charming while still being, well….Chuck!

      • Faith says:

        Agreed, totally. It’s like the smile that escaped with “I like you Chuck,” during their first, first date except more pronounced and powerful.

      • Crumby says:

        It also shows that Sarah’s reluctance to get together with Chuck in S2 wasn’t out of fear or her being closed off.
        Yes she needed some prodding, she needed Chuck to ask her on that date, just like she needed him to ask her on that vacation in Ring. That’s just not the kind of personal risk and decision she takes by herself. But she would. And she did say yes to that date. She wanted it too.

        But the job comes first. Because her number one priority is to keep Chuck safe and out of that bunker. And for that, she needed the government to trust her to be Chuck’s handler.

    • joe says:

      A day without Faith’s SQUEEE is like a day without a morning cup of coffee!

      Wow, that woke me up! 😉

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Oh come on Faith, you KNOW Dianne didn’t want Chuck dead, that was all Graham wanting to cover up the CIA mistake. Beckman clearly wanted Chuck for the love bunker. The only reason Graham picked Casey was because he knew Sarah wouldn’t do it. And now that I think of it, with all the bigger conspiracies, isn’t it interesting that Graham was there for the intersect startup and Dianne wasn’t… You don’t mess with Dianne’s Chuck. 😉

      • atcDave says:

        Much as I hate to try to say something less farcical After that….

        I find it interesting they knew not to have Sarah do the hit on Chuck, yet in First Kill Beckman was foolish enough to think Walker would betray Chuck by delivering him into custody; they knew she was compromised, but maybe not HOW compromised!

  12. herder says:

    Wonderful review Ernie, I had forgotten how much I enjoyed the first part of season two. The way that the Chuck that could be, if he used his potential, is in full view and it is encouraging to see that our hero is in fact a hero and not just a sympathetic character in a bad situation, as is the real attraction that Sarah has for him and it is nice to see her admitting that to herself too. We know that our boy is special and that the girl gets it. This is continued for the first few episodes, she acknowledges that there is something there and that she does encourage Chuck in that direction even if she denies it to others.

    One bit that puzzled me a bit was the comment that Casey would hate it if he knew what they were doing, if Chuck was to be a civilian why would Casey care about what Chuck and Sarah did so long as they didn’t do it in the street and scare the horses.

    It is a bit sad that his plans for the future and his confidence seem to be knocked back a bit by being put back in the bad situation although as we know this is necessary otherwise Casey will be ordered to end his existence. It does set the stage for him to suceed on a stage that is not in his comfort zone, after all what would be a hero journey be without adversity and eventual triumph. This one did not make my own personal top twenty but it is a very good, fun and important episode.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Well I could see the Casey comment as his usual uptight-by-the-book attitude. Chuck wasn’t a civilian yet, Sarah was still his handler, and she was on a real date and only dressed to kill figuratively.

      This one always makes my top twenty mostly because I think it so perfectly works as a season opener and prologue for everything that happens. I think it was Faith that mentioned somewhere that some of Fedak’s episodes, notably season openers and finales, tend to seem too ambitious or try to cover too much ground. I’d tend to agree with that to an extent, but to me this opener was practically pitch perfect.

      It also helps that they re-established the musical montage as a feature of Chuck, leading to so many great season 2 scenes. I miss the epic montages of yore.

      • Faith says:

        I would agree with that. In comparison to all the other ambitious endeavors, this one hit those notes best.

  13. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The First Date (2.01) | Chuck This

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