Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Sandworm (1.06)

NBC Synopsis: HALLOWEEN-Chuck (Zachary Levi) accidentally runs into a fellow government agent who seems to be living a similar life. It turns out this agent is a gadget whiz, whose brain makes him a national security asset and a dangerous liability, much like Chuck. Chuck faces a predicament whether he should help turn this agent into Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) and Casey (Adam Baldwin) or help this agent escape his handlers. Meanwhile, Halloween, a holiday that means a lot to Chuck and Morgan (Joshua Gomez) as buddies, proves to be a little different this year as Morgan feels that Chuck is neglecting both their childhood and friendship.

Chuck This Ranking54
Dave’s Ranking: I agree with the poll.

Full Write-Ups: Chuck vs the Sandworm (1.06) by Dave and Joe


About atcDave

I'm 54 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 31 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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29 Responses to Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Sandworm (1.06)

  1. aalleess says:

    I think this is the first of the many episodes where sandwich played a role in one way or another. Here is a short but good story revolving around sandwiches:


    • atcDave says:

      I love Chuck trying to deny that he and Morgan ever had the sandwich discussion.

      And of course that is always a fun story!

  2. aalleess says:

    My favorite part of this episode is where Sarah brings Chuck a fake photo of them at the Comic Con.

    Chuck: Wow, we look like a real couple.
    Sarah: Well, we are a real couple. We’re just a different sort of a couple.


    Sarah: How long do you want me to stay?
    Chuck: 42 minutes and 15 seconds?

    • resaw says:

      Yes, aallees, exactly what I was going to say. I was struck by the wistfulness in Chuck’s response of, “That we are,” to Sarah’s assertion that they are “real” but “different.” In light of the subsequent development of their relationship, I find notable the relative tentativeness in the way they conduct themselves, and the way in which Chuck still displays a lack of complete trust in both Sarah and Casey (which he regrets by the end of the episode).

      I enjoyed Morgan’s story, too. He has a lot of maturing to do, and even his stab at dressing with maturity seems rather immature. There has been a lot of comment on this forum about how annoying the early Morgan was, and I see that, but even so, I’m glad his role did not diminish over time.

      At this early stage in the series, we are still being introduced to the characters, and I really appreciated the extra “exposure” to Devon, Big Mike, Jeff and Lester. Speaking of Lester, I really had no knowledge of Vik Sahay before Chuck, but I gather he has had quite a career, even if he has never really approached “stardom,” and he always seems to be involved in one project or another.

      • thinkling says:

        I agree, Resaw. That whole “real couple” conversation is so poignant. Chuck is wistful, wishing it could be real, but clearly knowing it isn’t. For Sarah, on some level, it is real, and it’s the closest she can get. I think there’s a wistfulness on her part that a) she can’t have the truly real and b) that Chuck can’t be satisfied with the pseudo-real.

        Just so many good moments in this one.
        ~Chuck distancing himself from the Buymore, and realizing that some things are more important.
        ~Sarah letting Chuck know he’s a hero.
        ~The awkward bedroom scene.
        ~The moment Chuck realizes Lazlo is crazy … in a nuclear way.
        ~The real picture Sarah takes that stays in Chuck’s and then their bedroom for the rest of the series.
        ~The inter-cut scene with Morgan taking Chuck’s interview and Chuck racing off to save the world … or at least Santa Monica Peer.
        ~And of course Chuck starting the sandwich conversation, knowing that Casey is listening.

        Average episode, but I really enjoy it.

      • noblz says:

        I’m with Thinkling. I agree with everything she wrote here.

        First time through, this episode was in my dud pile. But I reconsidered it and promoted it to average/below average instead of dud.

        I like that Sarah is trying so hard to give Chuck what he needs after he caught her spying on him.

        Lower half of average.

    • joe says:

      This episode is something like “my favorite episode of those that aren’t in my top 10”. Every time I see it, I like it more.
      Sadowski is great. I was really glad that he got a chance at stardom with a sit com ($#*! My Dad Says with Shatner). It had it’s moments, but wasn’t a great show and lasted only one season, IIRC.

      But really, Finley Quaye/Wm. Orbit’s Dice became Chuck’s personal theme song for me about that time.

      After that, Arcade Fire’s first album (all 42 minutes and 15 seconds) got into my mp3 player. I really recommend Neighborhood #3, Haite and Wake Up. It’s so “Chuck.”

      We’re just a million
      Little God’s willin’ rainstorms
      Turnin’ every good thing to rust

      I guess we’ll just have to adjust

  3. Wilf says:

    I like Sarah’s guilty/regretful look when Chuck tells her he’s not surprised they bugged his room and she sees the broken photo frame.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah that’s a great moment! Especially as Chuck is beating himself up, and Sarah is clearly wishing he wouldn’t. This is one of those early episodes where I just love how Sarah “handles” Chuck. She is both masterful and sympathetic. It’s easy with an episode like this to remember why Sarah was the clear fan favorite (70% of the vote in the NBC “Favorite Character” poll) even in S1.

  4. anthropocene says:

    Laszlo is another on my list of early-series villains who should have returned to challenge Chuck later on. On a completely unrelated matter, the reference to “Los Robles National Lab” evoked some laughter in our home, as I briefly worked at Los Alamos and my wife’s maiden name is Robles….

  5. this is an episode that is much better than it initially seems, we often call Shaw the biggest lunatic of the show but I happen to think that Lazlo and probably Quinn were much better “vengeful characters”

    On a related topic I keep thinking that if the WGA strike had not happened and S1 had ended with Ring would it have extended the shows life span!? I know the what if game is pointless but it intrigues me….

    • joe says:

      Yeah, it’s pointless, but It’s still a good question, Josh. (I always did enjoy playing this game a bit too much!)

      I’m not sure what the rules are, though. If the writers strike had not happened, do you suppose that S1 would have had something like 24 episodes? And which episodes of S2 would have been left out? Worse, what do we do about S3 in our speculation? (Yeah, I know. Most would vote to trash the first 11 or 12 episodes all together and follow The Ring directly with The Honeymooners!)

      Hum! Maybe that’s not too bad, but there are some things I would have missed in that scenario, like Armand Assente and Chuck going completely “alpha” in Tic Tac.

      I wouldn’t want to have, effectively, four seasons instead of the five we got. But assuming that any fallout from changing history would still give us five years means that we could add more of what we liked – more C&S courting, more C&S married, a return of Stephen (and maybe Stephen and Mary together again) and an episode of Mary (the mother-in-law) dealing with Jack Burton (the father-in-law) as only she can.

      But you’re right – ultimately, it’s pointless. I’m happy with what we got, and every time I re-watch I’m happier.

      • I tend to think that if we got a full first season they would’ve cut cole and lou,…I also think the backlash of S3 wouldn’t have been nearly as heated due to one less year of “dangling the carrot”, so to speak…there a some gems hidden in the muck of S3 like beard or nacho sampler that I love…as far as beyond S3 I wish that Ellie would have found out sooner and that Carina and Jack make appearances in S5, maybe during Sarah’s amnesia (they really grew on me) but alas the problem with having only 5 seasons on a show like Chuck is the endless possibilities get cut short…here’s hoping for a movie sooner than later but like you I will always get happier each time I re watch this show!

      • thinkling says:

        Fun, fun wish list, Joe!

      • atcDave says:

        Josh you may be completely right that things would have gone better with less “dangling the carrot”. But I’m not so sure a longer S1 would have got us there. From other comments I’ve seen, I think Santa Claus was closer to the original S1 end game. But at this point it’s all guess work. We got some awesome episodes, and some maddening ones. I bet that would have been true even if it were tweaked around some.

      • Dave

        Your probably right about that…I used to think the blame was 50/50 in terms of who crippled show (network or creators) but ultimately JS made decisions that led to its short span…NBC just picked the wrong episodes in certain weeks (Post super bowl slot on third dimension, REALLY!? or airing phase three during thanksgiving week) Certain decisions are so obvious NOT to make that I wonder how TPTB justified them…

      • joe says:

        I think you’re right too, Dave. Something like Santa Claus for the S1 finale was always the idea. I’m pretty sure it was JS who always liked to slo-walk the romance (and in hindsight, I prefer that now – sorry, you anti- “will they?/won’t they?” people! That was baked into the cake from the get-go!). And I’m sure CF agreed with that plan.

        Does anyone besides me think they were responding to the fan’s desires when Honeymooners and S4 was conceived? I’m glad they did, but dragging their heels before getting C&S to the alter was standard. I mean, how many times did Chuck try to propose, for Pete’s sake?!

      • atcDave says:

        Joe I won’t agree with saying I like the slow play, but I do agree it was likely the intent all along.
        My guess on S4 is that they did play it safe after the reaction to S3. But I’m glad for that too. I was beyond tired of the game playing.

      • duckman says:

        I wouldn’t have minded the “slow-walk” as you call it, if they had been consistant and honest. What irritated me was the herky jerky dishonest ways they pulled the relationship back everytime they got more eps. In the beginning the status-quoe angst and craptastic ep endings didn’t bother me, because there was so much promise baked into the show. When they repeatedly got cute and dishonest (desperate?) in backpedaling the relationship, and started breaking all those promises fron s1, (fake name is just the worst one), thats when they started losing me. I’m also 7 years older now and I know my veiws on entertainment have changed, so I’m much less tolerant of certain tropes these days.

      • atcDave says:

        Duckman I think that’s exactly right about S3. It broke the promise of the first two seasons.

  6. Joe

    I’m not “anti wt/wt I was fine with friction but I think pink slip was a good idea just poorly executed…Chuck wouldn’t have led Sarah on…no way that was JS overdoing it..the Chuck in s1, 2, 4 and 5 had no problem (most of the time) being upfront with well everybody…so why the fake Chuck in S3!? JS makes my “calm” just shatter…

  7. DKD says:

    I started my rewatch when this new TV season started. So, I got this one this week and it happens to be the week of Halloween. I guess that’s how it ran originally. Up until this point, I’ve really enjoyed every episode. But, for some reason, this one rubs me the wrong way. It has a few good moments and ideas. The idea that Chuck and Morgan would dress as a Sandworm to Halloween every year is so geeky cool. The “Are you a tucker” scene with Captain Awesome was a great use of a character who only got a few scenes an episode to this point. The party scenes at the end are fine.

    But, it all doesn’t add up to a pleasant whole for me.

    I really disliked the Laszlo character. Maybe if he was a little less obviously deranged, he would have been more interesting. If he had started out appearing a little bit more normal and slowly turned, it may have been more intriguing. But, he’s obviously wacko from his first appearance and there was little nuance in the performance or design of the character.

    I don’t mind episodes with dark tones if they have a strong point to make. I don’t mind Morgan, in general, but I actually agreed that Chuck needed to chuck him based on his early behavior. Even though getting the promotion to assistant manager was never in the cards and wouldn’t have worked for the series, it still hurt a little to see Chuck disappoint again.

    I remember people always asking for another Halloween episode. But, as holiday episodes go, there really wasn’t a lot of fun in this one.

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