Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The First Kill (2.20)

NBC Synopsis: CHUCK TURNS TO A SURPRISING PERSON FROM HIS PAST IN ORDER TO FIND HIS FATHER—TONY HALE (“ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT”), SCOTT BAKULA (“QUANTUM LEAP”) AND JORDANA BREWSTER (“THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS”) GUEST STAR—After Chuck’s father Steve (guest star Scott Bakula) is kidnapped by Fulcrum, Chuck learns the only chance he has to find him is by putting his trust and life into the hands of the person he trusts the least—his ex-girlfriend Jill Roberts (guest star Jordana Brewster). Meanwhile, the Buy More team tries to sabotage Emmett’s (guest star Tony Hale) corporate evaluation.

Chuck This Ranking: 49
Dave’s Ranking: Much Higher

Full Write Up: Chuck vs The First Kill (2.20) by Dave and 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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25 Responses to Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The First Kill (2.20)

  1. Christopher says:

    Hey Dave, Ernie and Joe.

    My team and I over at Chuckaholics.com want to invite you and the rest of Chuckthisblog and take part in a new concept we started.

    http://chuckproject.socialgo.com/where-to-go

    We created a social network dedicated to Chuck.

    WE have it all, live streaming and forum discussions. So, Chuckthisblog come home to your own social network where Chuck gets its proper due.

    Chuck Project a home for Chuck fans

  2. anthropocene says:

    I don’t rank “Chuck” episodes myself…but if I did, I’d surely place this among my top ten, if not top five—there’s so much to love about it! Where do I start? Jill is back, but Chuck is in complete emotional control this time. In fact, Chuck behaves honorably and sincerely throughout the episode, even as some around him do not. I even laughed (rather than cringed) at Chuck’s two cowering deployments of “The Morgan” because of the effects they had. Sure, Uncle Bernie’s rather silly, in a KAOS kind of way, but I thought the entire scene at Strength Leadership (great name!) was pure gold, especially Sarah’s gun battle with Fulcrum among the cubicles backed by Twisted Sister’s “We’re not Gonna Take It.” Milbarge carries out his coup d’etat, leading to the Michael/Fredo Corleone scene between Big Mike and Morgan—and then, we go right into a (maybe the?) quintessential “Chuck” montage. It’s a montage that juxtaposes Morgan’s relatively mundane worries with Chuck’s life-or-death issues with great background music and just the right snippet of dialogue, while Beckman, Casey, and Sarah secretly argue over Chuck’s fate! And then—and then! “Take off your watch!” Yes—Sarah really does love Chuck and she’ll do anything for him! And what a soundtrack: from Duran Duran to Mackintosh Braun to Brahms! So much packed into one episode! Can you tell I was really looking forward to re-watching this one??

    • atcDave says:

      I think I agree with all of that! This is a terrific episode that replays well. Both the adventure of it and the emotional nuance. Great stuff.
      I tend to avoid concrete ranks; but I would say this is on my top ten list… the one with 33 episodes on it!

  3. Justin says:

    I love the ending to this episode. I always get this “crap just got real” feeling from it though one would think I would get more of that feeling when Chuck’s father ended up in Fulcrum’s clutches.

  4. mr2686 says:

    Some great comments on this episode. It’s always ranked as average to me, but looking back at all the bits and pieces, I’ll be darned if I know why. Maybe it’s the cloud of Jill (but I do love Fat Lady) so maybe I’m being unfair. On next re-watch I’ll try to have an open mind.

    • atcDave says:

      Obviously with that ranking a majority of viewers didn’t find anything special about this episode. Those of us who really loved it are the odd ducks here!

      • duckman says:

        Quack, Quack quack quack.
        Sorry, couldn’t resist.

      • atcDave says:

        Well its good to see there are a few fans!

        Or did I just stumble onto a gathering of Duck ‘shippers?

      • duckman says:

        Well, I’d rank this ep better than 49, but Emmett is a pretty big drag for me.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I don’t really care for the “B” plot much here. But I often don’t, and it doesn’t really determine the good or bad of an episode for me.

      • oldresorter says:

        Quack too. One of the big problems with Chuck vs the Buymore is the B plot(s) generally keep the arc for developing the dramatic or spy characters / stories sufficiently. Forever structurally is very much like Chuck, with a very limited number of characters vs most tv I watch. But, with all the characters in the same basic genre most of the time (Zac’s buddy the other medical guy is a comic guy), their stories are getting told more completely, or are getting developed more completely.

      • atcDave says:

        Forever definitely has fewer distractions.

  5. In the full write-up review, Joe wrote/quoted the following:
    —-
    Stephen’s safe – it’s all over and he’s back at Castle, Sarah tells him, and despite his feeble attempt to stay incredulous, Chuck finally believes every word of the lie. That’s too bad, because she’s there to arrest him.

    Wrong word. She’s there to betray him (and I’m whispering “No, Sarah! Don’t do it!” at the TV screen). Then, with a sigh, Chuck says something that causes ice and stone to crack.

    Chuck: I owe you an apology.
    Sarah: Why?
    Chuck: I was beginning to think that I couldn’t trust you anymore, Sarah. – that Maybe Jill was right, that the CIA was never gonna let me go, that they would always put their best interests ahead of mine. But not you. You’ve always looked out for me. Thank you.

    Sarah seems lost and for one brief moment, hopeless. She looks back one time as if to see her old life running out the door, leaving her. And then, they share a hug, Chuck in relief – because it’s over, and Sarah in desperation combined with steeled resolve – because it’s not. She whispers in his ear and everything is changed. Everything.

    Sarah: Take off your watch.
    Chuck: Why?
    Sarah: Because it’s all a lie.
    —–
    I suppose that to everyone else it was already clear, especially to Joe and Dave, but on this re-watch it became so much clearer to me that everything about this episode leads up to this event, to the anguished look on Sarah’s face before she says those four magic words. The last few moments of this episode are breathtaking in their significance.

    Oh, and one more thing …quack!

    Russ / resaw

  6. noblz says:

    Missed the discussion on Dream Job (my own dream job interfered). Dream Job was about a 46-50 level episode for me. Very Dark for Chuck. He gets a good job on his own merit, and must sacrifice it. He gets his father and sister to reconcile and learns the truth about his father only to lose him. Kind of a downer for me. Casey and Sarah were hilarious as nerds and the confrontation between Chuck and Casey in Castle were great.

    Now, First Kill made my top 10(29) episodes. It was just good throughout. Uncle Bernie and the Engagement party and the crew crashing Fulcrum HQ and the ending scene where just outstanding. The Buy More story didn’t do much for me (tired of Morgan and Emmett by now).

    Best lines:
    Sarah: I’m Chuck’s cousin Sarah and this is my boyfriend John.
    Wally: Talk about Beauty and the Beast….You must be loaded.

    Always cracks me up.

  7. oldresorter says:

    Arrow had a fake name’ish deja vu vibe to it this week. amazing how a story can both give epicness and take it away. Anyone else watch.

    • CaptMediocre says:

      It was similar enough to make me think that all television writer go to the exact same school, take the exact same classes with the exact same teachers.

      Arrow S3 has suffered a very similar fate to Chuck S3. The only difference being that THAT was my final episode of Arrow.

      • atcDave says:

        What I always wonder though is, who teaches the “how to ruin your show class?” It’s obvious many writers did quite well in it.

      • oldresorter says:

        IMO the best way to defer characters hooking up (because deferring it is a valid source of drama), yet allowing them to have normal adult relationships, is to do two things. First, a great case has to be laid out, over and over again for why the two are apart. Second, the ‘other’ character they hook up with, either has to be minimally involved with the show (Castle’s LI’s always worked, so did Beckett’s), or has to be layed out as both a sympathetic / understandable alternative, and the other relationship has to be taken seriously, not used as comic relief.

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