Chuck vs The First Date (2.01)

We’ve made it to the second season.  I think most of us consider this a very special season.  As I’ve shared before, this is the season when Chuck went from being my favorite show on the air, to an all time favorite.  At this point I mostly re-watch S4 and S5, but S2 will always be special. After a lengthy eight month off season Chuck returns.  The Orange Orange and Castle are new (although we won’t see Castle until next week).  And this episode is well designed to serve as a (re)introduction to the series; perfect for new viewers and those who just haven’t watched in eight months!  So let’s get started with the first episode after the jump.

One of the things we’ll see throughout season two, is really outstanding stuntwork.  Going way back to previews before the Pilot, this is one of my favorite parts of this show.  And I think season two is the pinnacle.  Later seasons will have less budget, and less exciting stunts and effects are often an obvious result (although some effort was still made to ramp up the action on occasion, presumably that means saving the stunt budget for a few big blow outs).  But for now we’re entering a golden age.

A new setting.

Not only does the season two premier  start with an exciting stunt, but this would earn Chuck its second Emmy for stunts.  No doubt the late Michael Clarke Duncan was a big part of what makes this episode so exciting too.  A truly imposing villain worthy of Team B.

This episode also gets right to the heart of the show; Chuck and Sarah may still be “just friends” at the start of this episode, but they clearly are close friends.  Sarah offers Chuck encouragement and friendly advice, she may be fishing for something more; but the audience, probably just like Chuck and Sarah themselves, can only wonder if that’s true.  Continuing the “compromised” discussion from  last week, Sarah seems to be letting herself relax some as the assignment is apparently coming to an end. I would guess that she’s kidding herself if she thinks she can actually just move on to another mission, Chuck has already changed her too much. But of course that can only be speculation, and its clearly for the realm of fan fiction to explore how long it would take before Sarah came running “home” to Burbank.

And this leads to something I have to bring up here, and this won’t be the last time this topic comes up.  We have a really dynamite deleted scene for this episode (on the disc set) where Sarah confronts Casey about how this mission is going to an end.  I will always really wish this had been a part of canon.

A plan is hatched

Sarah makes a veiled threat to Casey about if she has anything to worry about with him. Apart from the fact it settles the question of what Sarah knew about the kill order (this was a hot topic of discussion before the S2 discs came out.  She knew such a mission could possibly end that way, but she thought in this case Chuck was safe)  I love the idea Sarah would have run off with Chuck right here if she had known about the order.  Of course her own life changing journey with Chuck was still at an early stage; but it seems she already valued him more highly than the job, and would have gone to extraordinary means to protect him.  Did we ever doubt that?!

On a more immediate level, this episode is fun in every way.  We get re-introduced in a graphic way to Chuck’s home life, and the hazards of living with an engaged couple.  We see Chuck starting to disengage from the Buy More; but the “B” plot here is fun anyway, from Chuck’s disturbing job interviews to Morgan’s eccentric method for choosing an assistant manager.  Chuck and Morgan’s Call of Duty passion will provide a good bit of color for the background, right up until it becomes an important and amusing plot device.  And that is one of the things I like best about both the show and this episode.  We see that Chuck is clever and imaginative, and a nerd all the way through.

Did I mention the First Date itself?  Yeah I’m a big Charah fan, and this is the sort of scene that can make an episode for me.  This episode is so strong it doesn’t need the help.  But I sure am glad to see it.  To me that became the major hook for this entire show, and unlike extravagant stunt and effects work, it will survive budget cuts just fine.  Add in an emotional scene like Sarah thinking she just saw Chuck die (not for the last time!) and this is an awesome episode for ‘shippers.

The ending needs some attention too.  It would seem Casey still thinks he could kill Chuck if was ordered to.

Just a little drama

I would guess this is true, but I think it would have completely shattered  whatever humanity he still had.  Once again we get a few “what ifs?” from this scene.  Would he have killed Sarah too if she interfered?  Or maybe he would have been intentionally slow on the trigger and let her shoot first.  Even better, maybe he could have let “slip” what his mission was and let them run.  THAT’S an arc I would have liked to see.  There’s definitely been some good fan fiction built around these ideas, although not usually drawn from this exact scene.  But this sort of speculating is what gives a show life in my mind beyond just sitting down for an episode.  When I spend my time imagining different ways of constructing scenes its a good bet a show has completely infected me!  I think this idea will come up a few more times during these re-watches, especially during S2 when the possibilities seemed to be everywhere.

~ Dave

Joe’s Take – Cipher, Cipher, Who’s Got The Cipher?

What an episode! I can’t agree with you more, Dave. Right from the opening scene, First Date starts off as an excellent recap of S1 and introduction to S2. It only takes the cast three lines to re-establish the dramatic essence of Team B.

Casey: [To Luther Colt] Let the geek go!
Sarah: Wait! Not out the window.
Casey: Aren’t we picky.

Heh! Casey is such a pal. There’s no arguing that the stunt work, especially Sarah’s fight scene with Colt, is excellent. The humor, from Chuck’s “I’m blind!!!”, upon seeing Ellie & Awesome in the shower, to Morgan’s deciding who the next assistant manager will be “the ancient way”, to Casey’s “Hey! Did somebody order drive-thru?” continues to hit me right in the funny-bone. And the romance? Sigh.

Chuck: You wanna go on a date sometime? I mean, a date without aliases and spy gear and a mission?
Sarah: Oh, like a real date?
Chuck: Yeah.
Sarah: Chuck [ahem] I’m still a CIA agent, and there are a hundred reasons why I shouldn’t do that.
Chuck: What do you have to lose? In a week, you’re gonna be undercover in some place like Jakarta in a knife fight with some evildoer. And in that exact moment, you’re gonna wish that you would’ve spent one last night of fun with me.
Sarah: [pausing] Okay.

I couldn’t imagine Sarah turning Chuck down now for a date, and that, my friends, was a turning point.

I finally figured out why. There’s someone missing from this episode. If you haven’t guessed, it’s insecure, whiny Chuck; he’s no where to be seen, thank Heaven. We’ll see that guy again, but now, in his place we have a new Chuck. He’s someone who calls himself Charles Carmichael, but who isn’t playing James Bond or ordering drinks that Chuck doesn’t like while gambling away $100k with one roll of the dice. This time he’s confident, masterful and has a team behind him. Several, actually. Only one of them is imaginary.

Morgan: All right, listen, here are the specs. Are you ready?
Twenty-three infantry troopers, 16 snipers, seven heavy gunners, four demolition experts and enough ammunition to orbit Arnold Schwarzenegger. Fifty gamers, one call, all ready for battle.

Chuck is the real deal. At least, he demonstrates he can be. What’s best about this episode and what I continue to love after umpteen viewings is that Sarah realizes it too.

Sarah: Chuck? Can I tell you something?
Chuck Of course!
Sarah: You can do anything. I’ve seen you in action. And I’m not just talking about the bomb-defusing or the diamond-stealing. I mean, anything you wanted, you could have.

That is a most amazing line and Chuck believes her. He can have anything he wants. Sarah’s words had all of us asking silently “Does that include you too, Sarah?”

Maybe. If he wants. For the entire episode Chuck is being asked what he wants and what he wants to do with his life now that it appears he might soon be through with the CIA. His answers do not involve flying the Millennium Falcon, but they do involve seeing the world.

What does he want? It’s pretty clear that Chuck wants to ask Sarah to join him even he’s not sure she’ll say yes. I too like the idea that if she knew Chuck was threatened by the CIA at this point, she would run with him, Dave.

But that is for later.

As it is, Sarah’s answer is important, surely, but it’s more important that he ask her. That is something Chuck would never have done before. Not in The Pilot, certainly.

“Yeah, you are.”

Chuck’s world is bigger now, bigger than the Buy More. Up to this episode, Chuck has been running scared, wondering if he’s good enough for the world he’s seen with Sarah and Casey. It’s much more dangerous and much more exciting than he had imagined, but ’till now, he’s been insecure. That just changed:

Sarah: You’re not so bad yourself.
Chuck: Please. I’m fantastic.
Sarah: Yeah. You are.

… and Sarah knows it. You can see it in her eyes.

I can’t leave this episode without mentioning the music. First Date starts with one of my favorite Tim Jones themes, for which I have no name. But you’d recognize it by the mid-eastern instrumentation and melody, all done to a rock beat. Then we get Huey Lewis & The News doing Hip To Be Square and later, The Power of Love golden oldies of the highest caliber!

Even better, First Date ends with a musical punch to the gut when Fulcrum destroys the new Intersect, Langston Graham and Chuck’s old life with one huge explosion. The song is The Twist by Frightened Rabbit, and it leaves us set up for the remainder of this amazing season of Chuck.

A lot of fans came on board with Season 2. To me, there’s no mystery about that. First Date started the season with a bang.

– joe

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About atcDave

I'm 53 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 30 years; grew up in the Chicago area, and am still a fanatic for pizza and the Chicago Bears. My main interest is military history, and my related hobbies include scale model building and strategy games.
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57 Responses to Chuck vs The First Date (2.01)

  1. CaptMediocre says:

    First Date is easily a top 5 episode for me.

    It has, in my opinion, when Chuck comes out on the roof, what remains the best Chuck entrance of the series.

    • joe says:

      I rather like that entire scene on the roof, Captn., starting with Colt saying “You’re just not worth it,” dropping Chuck, and Sarah’s scream.

      Zac puts the finishing touches on it with his “I was going for imposing.” mock of Colts line in the restaurant. I love it that his entrance and the idea to call Morgan to verify the strike-force specs weren’t done by the Intersect. It was all Chuck.

    • atcDave says:

      I don’t know if I’d quite call it top five, but it certainly is very strong. I could call it top ten, but there are about 25 episodes in my top ten…
      I often try to rank order such things, but I always realize I’m forgetting something and the list just keeps growing.

      I do love how Chuck deals with Colt, the whole fake team scam with Morgan, and then the real team. It is really a lot of fun from beginning to end.

    • anthropocene says:

      Here too was another example of the heroic side of Chuck: when the chips are really down, he’s surprisingly composed. When Colt dangles him off the edge of the roof, though Chuck is frightened, he makes the crack about Colt’s negotiating skills and tries to reason with Colt rather than simply begging for his life.

      Season 2 Sarah’s before-and-after responses to Chuck’s occasional apparent demise, starting with that scene on the roof, are noteworthy too—her emotions are all out there when she thinks she’s lost him, but she’s right back to the cool detached spy when he shows up alive and well. Same scenario in vs. Best Friend a few episodes later. It’s of course very different once she and Chuck have become lovers.

      • I love how Chuck just starts riffing on things whenever he’s in danger. His improvisation with Morgan’s CoD strategy remains one of his coolest moments. I love how they built that up.

    • Definitely in my top 5 too. MCD was great in this episode. I love it when a villain just gets the tone of the show. Right up there with Rorack and Volcoff.

      “Let him go.”

      “Wait! Not out the window!”

  2. ref51907 says:

    I absolutely love this episode. It is one of my favorite of the entire series. Everything was working the way it should. It is just fun to watch this episode.
    I did notice a few things that I hadn’t before that were going on between Chuck and Sarah. The first scene between Chuck and Sarah in the courtyard, she seems to me not to be playing the spy role, but the girlfriend role. Just the way she encourages him, the way she looks at him, and even her cryptic “whatever you want you can have” line just jump out off the screen. And when she accepts his date idea, there can be no doubt that at the very very least, she wants to play the girlfriend role. There was one more thing I hadn’t noticed before and that was at the end when she shows up to have yet another date. Her “I’m so sorry” was not contrived, or half-hearted but once again, a true expression of regret.
    -Graham’s reaction to seeing FULCRUM THANKS YOU on the intersect computer screen is still baffling. If all things went like they should, Chuck would be dead and the new intersect room would be destroyed. So does that make him good, or bad?

    Erik

    • atcDave says:

      I do love how unguarded Sarah is with Chuck throughout this episode. Really, she is pretty open with him most of the time and gets herself in some trouble for it. It’s part of the appeal of the relationship. But I do think that with thinking the mission is coming to an end she lowers her defenses quite a bit here.

  3. By far my favorite episode of the series! “Whatever you wanted, you could have”, when the only thing he wants is her! Casey missing those shots in the fireplace. His taking on of the persona of Charles Carmichael for the first time, a role that was, sadly, never properly developed. Her fight scene on the roof, taking on a man twice her size and fighting him to a standstill. If only she could have seen him channeling Charles, or he could have seen her fighting for his life, what their relationship might have been. (I’ve seen a few fanfics that mention recordings of these events, but sadly there were none.)
    “Do you have the cipher?” “Of course I have it, it’s me!” So many layers of meaning there.
    The very first time I even noticed the music, ‘Dropped’ by Phantom Planet, playing as they got ready for the date, one of my favorite songs now.
    And Graham. Beckman ordered the death of Chuck several times, but not Graham as far as I know, yet he’s the one to die. One has to wonder what he did to deserve it. And the cryptic ‘FULCRUM THANKS YOU’ at the end.

    • atcDave says:

      I do love both Chuck and Sarah’s scenes with Mr. Colt, really a very fun climax to this episode.
      I don’t think it’s at all unreasonable to speculate that there could have been some security cameras running on that rooftop, they seem to be everywhere these days. But of course, if there were, we never heard a word about it in canon.
      Graham was clearly in on the kill order, he jumped in on Beckman’s last communication with Casey on the subject. And given his involvement in Sarah’s Red Test, I would say there can be no doubt he had plenty of blood on his hands. To my mind he had been completely corrupted by his job; devaluing human life and making grotesque decisions as a matter of convenience. He may have had a soft spot for Sarah, but I’m left with the impression even that was self serving (but at least he was smart/decent enough to leave her out of the kill order!). Of course Beckman had been too, but at least the actress stuck with the show long enough for her character to get a more layered treatment!

      • authorguy says:

        Right, I’d forgotten he was there at least once. Definitely a bad guy, then. I’d like to think Beckman was just going along with his order, but she did reinforce it several times while alone. Was there a reason for getting rid of his character other than the fact that they didn’t need two people on the monitor?
        I’ve seen stories where the Charloes Carmichael scene is on tape, which makes no sense.
        Has anyone ever written a story about why they dropped the kill order and even decided the Intersect was best off left in Chuck, which was the reason they interfered with the search for Orion?

      • atcDave says:

        I believe Tony Todd had a scheduling conflict. Looking at his entry on IMDb he had a truly staggering number of projects going at that time, but I couldn’t say the details of why he left.
        I don’t believe Chuck’s changing status is ever really discussed clearly. It’s really not even consistent; going from teamB being Beckman’s best in Predator to reassigning Sarah the very next week in Broken Heart. Homer Simpson could have been a better decision maker. Beckman, as the voice of authority, is more plot device than actual character most of the time.
        But I would guess Chuck partially proves himself over the course of S2. Perhaps sometime after he got the Fulcrum Intersect they started to realize Chuck’s brain was pretty unique. But ultimately, they were only letting him go in Ring because the Intersect had been removed.

        Why do you say security footage makes no sense? There are cameras everywhere these days. Sure they wouldn’t look as cool as the action footage we saw on the show, but the idea of cameras capturing the action strikes me as completely reasonable. Most likely, the government would have confiscated such footage immediately, but it still might exist on a government server somewhere.

      • authorguy says:

        That’s one of the things I hated about the portrayal of Beckman when I created nine2five. She was so unstable in what she told the team to do, for the sake of the plot that week. I’ll have to look up what Mr. Todd was doing. I don’t watch any TV so I have no idea how busy these people are aside from Chuck. I figure sudden character deaths mean they got a job somewhere else that paid better or promoted their career better. I didn’t miss him, although he would have made a good villain had he stayed.

      • authorguy says:

        Oops, didn’t see the other half of the comment. I meant footage of the Carmichael scene makes no sense. They were planning to murder him, after all, why make evidence for the prosecution. I can see footage of Sarah’s fight existing somewhere, though.

      • atcDave says:

        Oh yeah, I imagine Casey shut off the cameras before coming over to kill Chuck! Obviously we were thinking of different scenes.

        Graham would have made an excellent villain if he’d continued with the show. But then, that’s pretty much what Tony Todd has built his career on!

      • authorguy says:

        I meant the scene where Colt was planning to murder Chuck, not where Casey was planning to murder Chuck. In neither case would they have wanted recordings, so Chuck becoming Charles Carmichael in front of Colt would never have been recorded, although Sarah’s fight on the roof might have.

      • joe says:

        Todd did a great job with Graham. I have this half-baked idea that TPTB were constrained to walk a fine line with their characterizations of the CIA/NSA. The agencies had to be shadowy and mysterious, but they had to be part evil and part good at the same time. Too much in either direction would offend at least part of the audience.

        Todd was the perfect casting choice to bring out both aspects.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Joe he certainly is perfect for intimidating bureaucracy.

    • Joe, the writers stepped way over that line you for this viewer with their portrayal of the intelligence community in a broader sense on way too many occasions. It was one of the major sticking points of the show for me. No doubt there are bad apples to be found, but I found much of the writing to be a blatant insult in many cases to the men and women who are really sticking their necks out at the point of the spear for us every day.

      • atcDave says:

        A lot of us do share that view Angus. I think the default bias is really very hostile and cynical towards the intelligence community. I really think Sarah is the only one of them shown in a consistently favorable light, but even she makes plenty of made-for-television sort of stupid mistakes (“you don’t take a gun an a real date…”)

        Much of it I can ignore as entertainment on a comedy. But I do strongly suspect there is really an anti-CIA (and likely anti-military) sort of bias at play.

      • authorguy says:

        That also enhances the disparity between their ‘inside the box’ thinking and Chuck’s own more creative solutions.

      • joe says:

        All too true, Angus. And I agree with you and Dave that it’s a bias that runs throughout the entertainment industry.

        But it’s a comic trope at this point, one that we need not take seriously, so long as we keep perspective and realize the truth. I’m an astronomer by avocation, and even they have their comic stereotype – imagine the thin, grey-bearded star-gazer in his tower with the pointed hat, complete with star on top. It’s a Disney wizard! You just can’t get away from that kind of stuff completely, you know.

        [And Ernie, if you say you resemble that remark, I’m going to come right over and give you what-for for the bad pun! ;)]

        By the way, Covert Affairs (the other Agent Walker) is trying for a much more realistic version of the CIA and undercover operations. But you know what? I have a feeling that it’s no closer to the truth for most of the agencies personnel for most of the time.

      • ref51907 says:

        Cole Barker was portrayed in a good light, though he was MI6. But also remember the guys of the CIA we were shown where supposed to be part of a rogue CIA cabal, so of those they will be painted in a bad light.

        Erik

    • uplink2 says:

      One of the things I love about this episode is that cryptic line. It establishes just how deeply Fulcrum had gotten into the intelligence committee and it showed what lengths it would go to by killing the CIA Director and all of the new Intersect Agents. It showed clearly that along with season 1, Fulcrum was a real viable threat so unlike the pathetic portrayal of the Ring. We see clearly how dangerous Fulcrum is in the episode but never once did we see anything like that with the Ring.

  4. Bill says:

    I love how this episode not only manages to re-introduce the characters to us, but also to show their progression from S1. We see character growth here from every member of Team B, with Chuck’s burgeoning confidence as an asset, Sarah’s ongoing transformation into a “real girl”, and Casey’s inner conflict over the kill order.

    This episode also sets up the wonderful tone of Season 2, with a great blend of romance, comedy, and action. Chuck the Show at its absolute best!

  5. I LOVE this episode. Unless you combine Colonel and Ring, it’s my favorite of the season. Everybody interacts with each other beautifully, and it’s one of the few Chuck episodes that’s golden in every single minute. The most obvious appeal to this episode is Casey’s dilemna, and it’s heartwarming that he can even have such a thing. But First Date goes deeper than that.

    The characters all deliver flawless performances, but more than that, their chemistry is it its peak (and remains so for much of the season) The date is a gorgeous scene, and it’s even better with Casey struggling with the poison – two of the best scenes of the show. But even better is Michael Clark Duncan, who just fits into the show’s quirkiness perfectly. He drops a few brilliant lines (“they give me the heebie jeebies”), and it’s immediately clear that no, Sarah doesn’t find him imposing in the least.

    Morgan is not a good character in Season 1, but he and Chuck have more chemistry here than at any point in this season because they actually come across as best friends. Chuck’s obvious interest in and respect for Morgan’s Call of Duty plans is hilarious, and the final scene is one of my favorites – and one that’s recurring. Chuck always turns to Morgan at his lowest moments, and despite his general idiocy, Morgan’s always there to pick him up. I’ve always liked Morgan as the dipshit version of Chuck, and that just works perfectly here.

    But man, Yvonne is just a force in this episode. She just his every note pitch perfect, from the fight scene, to her “not out the window!” line, to the date, this is one of her best performances, even if it’s often overlooked (much like this episode in general).

    I didn’t really care about Chuck until this episode. One of the best.

  6. A fun return for the series. I considered it a pretty slight episode at the time – but in light of what followed in later seasons this one has risen in my eyes.

    Loved the intertwining of video games and Chuck using them to get himself out of a pickle. The Sarah/Colt fight goes beyond ridiculous and into cartoon territory. The Casey Chuck catch was great.

    Still this one is too light to end up in my top ten list.

  7. Robert says:

    I really like that episode! One of my favorites of Season 2!

    I really like the beginning of the episode; it’s a bit like a James Bond beginning, when you see them finishing a mission. They showed that Chuck, Sarah and Casey went on a lot of missions between Marlin and First Date, and that they got closer as a result (Hence the Han Solo-esque “It’s me!” from Chuck). Casey is his usual teasing self with Chuck, but you can feel the respect he has for him, now.

    To me, it’s clear that Sarah is now looking at Chuck in a new light, and I don’t think Sarah would’ve agreed to go on a real date with Chuck during season 1. She definitely care about him, and much more than just an asset; Chuck didn’t have a lot of trouble to convince her to go with him on a date. And that’s precisely why I love the scene where Chuck and Sarah are preparing themselves for it.

    Love Sarah fighting Colt, while she believes that Chuck is dead (what a cry!). Love how open and caring is Sarah on their date, and how they are open about their feelings for each other, (You kick ass, you’re smart, and extremely beautiful), Chuck is his usual fan boy with Sarah, but at the same time his description of her is heartfelt, and more mature; and it hits bullz-eye; just look at Sarah’s eyes and facial expression while he says it. Sarah is openly admirative (Fantastic! Yeah, you are) of him, and they come this close to share a real kiss again.

    I was glad to see Graham go out with a bang. Never really liked that character. You could sympathize (or at least, understand her reasons) with Beckman, but Graham was simply evil and unsympathetic (?).

    Some may find that episode light (and I’m ok with that), but it really illustrated that the relationships between Chuck and Sarah, and the whole of Team B. were always great to watch, and one of the most important things in the show.

    • That “Yeah, you are.” Line is one of my favorites. Yvonne and the writers give Sarah some really great, succinct lines that completely sum up her feelings, and it’s always beautiful. As opposed to Chuck, who tends to ramble.

      • Robert says:

        Of course! But it’s Chuck we’re talking about! He’s still a bit insecure at that time, and some (meaning Casey) would say that he talks too much! But Sarah doesn’t seem to mind…nope; not at all!

      • atcDave says:

        I always find it funny how Sarah just happily listens to Chuck’s rambling.

      • joe says:

        Heh. I always thought that her putting up with Chuck’s Chardonnay-while-hacking habit was cute.

        Arthur, I’ve noticed that Chuck’s ramblings often turn almost poetic at some point. I can see it when I transcribe and use the quote. They’re often the most lengthy, but Chuck always buries a diamond in there somewhere.

      • Robert says:

        I agree, Dave! lol

        She loves it when he tells her how he feels about her. But she hates it and stops it quickly when he’s spiraling, or he’s speaking negatively of himself. We saw it as late as the Finale (When Chuck was spiralling about Morgan’s idea).

      • Joe, the Chardonnay scene is adorable. Those are the scenes I like most – the short, succinct moments where they express themselves without a big speech. Like this one. It’s only three words, and conveys everything she could ever need to with that and a look.

        Chuck’s speeches can be good sometimes too (our kids will be little superheroes, with capes!) But a lot of times, they’re a little too sweet for me to take.

      • Robert, speaking of, I love how Chuck always, always takes romantic advice from Morgan. You’d think he’d learn, but he always runs back to the bearded one. That unbreakable, mutual trust is the most endearing aspect of their friendship.

        It’s an acronym! See the dots?

  8. This episode reminded me. Chuck has referenced two real-life villains – Kim Jong-Il (Morgan: “Did we get him?” and Bin Laden (Casey: “Some of my fancy targets”). The week each of those episodes aired, those people died. Random fact of the week.

  9. ref51907 says:

    This episode, being one of my favorites, causes me to re-watch it a lot. I did it again earlier tonight and I noticed something else I never had before.
    -When Sarah tell’s Chuck in the courtyard that he can have anything he wants he didn’t she her subtle raise of the eyebrow. If you watch him, Chuck is looking down, or away from her as if he is thinking, as she does that. She is trying to communicate her desires and he misses that visual cue. That to me makes his date proposal the next day all the more intriguing. He came to her and asked her out on his own volition. That would seem to indicate to me that from the very start of Season 2 they both were on the same page, as far as want they want from each other. And it also adds another layer to the next 2 episodes.

    Erik

    • Robert says:

      Oh, it’s obvious that Sarah is giving Chuck a clue about her feelings. And when Sarah is chatting with Chuck, we see a young woman encouraging a young man she loves and respects, it has nothing to do with her being a handler.

      Do you see how quick she is to interrupt him when Chuck kind of implies he might just go back to the Buy More? She’s like; “No, no, no, you are so much better than working in that place! You’re a so much better man than that! You have what it takes to get anything you want; me included!”

      That’s what her expression (and eyebrows) is really saying…

      • joe says:

        Heh! It’s obvious to us, Robert. I’m not so sure it’s obvious to Chuck!

        Well, I just lied. I’m sure it’s not. At least, not completely. Chuck is like a lot of guys (I’m sure Faith, Thinkling and Amy will confirm this). Until he’s hit over the head with a two-by-four, he’ll always be uncertain – there will always be a bit of doubt in his mind. He lives “on planet Earth,” he insists to Morgan, and he doesn’t want to be that much of a dreamer.

        Of course, I know that that was then, and this is now. But Chuck’s doubts will return again as soon as the next episode when he overhears Sarah telling Roan Montgomery exactly what the situation is.

        I do believe that’s also the moment Chuck decides he does want to be that much of a dreamer.

      • atcDave says:

        Chuck is still convinced he’s not worthy of her, so he’s missing all the clues. When he thinks he’s loosing her anyway (end of the mission) he takes a chance, but he still sees it as a send off and nothing more.
        Sarah, for her part, will later admit she had already fallen for him, but she was not ready to admit it yet.
        So I think Chuck is clueless, and Sarah is confused. What a pair!

      • Robert says:

        Joe, it’s true that Chuck didn’t see a thing; not because he didn’t “see”, just because he didn’t recognized or acknowledged what he saw for what it is; that Sarah has real feelings for him.

        Chuck sees himself as unworthy, even in Season 4, when it took Phase 3 to make him understand that Sarah loves him for what he is.

        Of course, as Dave pointed out, the fact that Sarah is very confused about her feelings, and that she’s sending mixed signals doesn’t help Chuck, until he decides to pursue Sarah anyway.

  10. Gerry Sacco says:

    Loved this episode and this season is either tied for or just is my favorite. Awesome blog!

  11. First Impression says:

    So glad I didn’t have to wait months between S1and S2!  This show was packed and fast-paced, taking more than one watch to get a good handle on it. Casey’s struggle with his orders to kill Chuck was worth the ticket, but there was so much more!  The casting of Mr. Colt was inspired.  If one had to find ‘imposing’, there is no one better than Mr. Duncan. They were even able to use his affable manner to make more than a 2D bad guy.  

    No big budget movie could have done a better job with Casey being gassed/poisoned.  That scene was spectacular!  (When Casey began to recover and realized the Cipher was gone, do you think he first called Beckman to report in or simply rushed to get Chuck?)  Chuck and Sarah’s date was so promising, even relaxed – until the flash.  Chuck’s question, “Is that a Crown Victoria?” was a great intro for Casey to charge in and save the day. 

    Sarah’s scream as Chuck fell was heartbreaking.  Casey’s reaction and catch were, again, the stuff movies are made of.  And I would never have imagined that Sarah’s fight with Mr. Colt would have been believable, but it was.  Her adrenaline was flowing, her guy was supposedly gone and she had nothing to lose.  I imagine it was all she could do to keep from rushing to Chuck when he appeared with the troops.

    I can’t leave without mentioning that Huey Lewis and the News was my favorite band during high school and college.  Chuck waking up with a smile to “Hip to be Square”, then staring at the ceiling when “The Power of Love” clicked on just made me start singing.  To which my daughter asked, “You know that song?”  Um, yeah.  🙂

    • atcDave says:

      Glad you liked it! No doubt a great episode. I’m really jealous of your first time experience here, great stuff ahead too.

    • candm3407 says:

      First Impressions,

      This best thing about chuck is how they blend in action with comedy and romance all in one scene. The date was great.

      Chuck: Did you bring your gun?
      Sarah: you don’t bring a gun on a real date.

      What I like about this line, When they went on their date in the pilot Sarah was packing. in just one year. Sarah’s feeling have changed so much she didn’t want her job to ruin a night of fun with Chuck and She wanted to kiss him to boot. It seemed like by leaving her gun at home she also left Agent Walker. It was refreshing. even since she thought Chuck was gone from her life in Marlin her attitude changed. Look how she looks at him in in the beginning, it is definitely different feel.

      The scene on the rooftop really is what sells me on her transformation though. It also goes back to my theory that Sarah the girlfriend is beginning to blossom. It will take a year and half before she takes the leap of faith, but we see significant growth.

      Much like chuck being bunkered, the possibility of Chuck dying would devastate her. However, it would be worse if he died because than he would be out of her life permanently. Something Sarah wouldn’t be able to handle.

    • revdr says:

      F.I.; welcome to season 2. First Date is easily a top 5 episode for me so I’m certainly glad that you enjoyed it. You’re so right…you get a myriad of emotions from Sarah in this episode, and her scream makes my heart ache for her every time I watch it. This is just the beginning for a great season for Chuck and Sarah as their journey towards each other brings them much closer to the inevitable. And the best is yet to come!!!

      • Martin Traynor says:

        I don’t know about the best yet to come, at least when looking ahead to s.3, but for this season I ‘d agree ( except for the two eps. With agent Cole – I never liked when Sarah showed interest in anyone else, especially someone who is so clearly a player.

        I just rewatched this ep. And have to say that it brilliant. I love when Sarah emotes over a possible Chuck death, because we get a very brief but very real glimpse into who she really is and how she truly feels about him.

        Her “Nooooo!” Was powerful in every sense. Iwod have thought she wanted to rush Chuck when he appeared with the troops , but man was she cool and collected.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I love Sarah’s quickly regained composure!
        I don’t like Chuck getting distracted either; in fact, when we get to S3, he’ll annoy me even more than Sarah. But as far as S2 goes, we have so much good stuff ahead (and only a little bad).

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

  13. I watched this ep with a friend recently…he thought the Call of Duty bit was so funny and i enjoyed his reaction so much… my favorite parts are Chuck: “its never safe in the car!!” (opening scene) and then at the end when Chuck gets credit from the bad guy!

    I may put my fan-fiic on hold after this chapter to write a piece examining the body language and unspoken things within Chuck and Sarah’s relationship (unless that’s been done already?) because those moments always grabbed me more than what was in the script

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