Chuck vs the First Kill

As I may have mentioned before, towards the last half of season two, the storylines begin to approach hyperspeed. The on-again-off-again romance of Chuck and Sarah, both cover and otherwise, has had a few moments here and there of hope for the future up to this point.  However, as Sarah not only realizes what her feelings for Chuck actually are, and she begins to accept them, the “moments” start coming in fast and hard.  Back in season one, Chuck was nothing more than an assignment, then he became just as important as the assignment, and this episode is the tipping point in which Chuck becomes the main priority to Sarah, more than her commitment to the CIA, the assignment, and the spy life.  And the dopey lovesick Chuck takes a back seat to a Chuck who sees his family in danger and who means serious business when it comes to protecting them.  This does not go unnoticed by Sarah.

But Chuck isn’t the only one who gets serious about loyalties and family.  Morgan sees the repercussions of his misplaced loyalties and learns a valuable lesson in the bonds of family and friendship.

Main Story

The episode opens with Chuck concerned about the whereabouts of his father, since captured by Fulcrum, and doesn’t trust  the government to be taking the search seriously.  Sarah asks him to trust her, and as we will see, this will be put to the test….

Sarah: "I know you don't trust them, but do you trust me?"
Sarah: “I know you don’t trust them, but do you trust me?”
Morgan: “What’s the matter Chuck? Your dad’s back in town, you’re dating the hottest slice of proverbial pizza around, and you’re best friends with me!”
Morgan: “What’s the matter Chuck? Your dad’s back in town, you’re dating the hottest slice of proverbial pizza around, and you’re best friends with me!”
Chuck: “We’ve captured Fulcrum agents before, can’t we talk to them?” Casey: “We tried that, but since this new administration discontinued waterboarding, Fulcrum agents don’t talk.”
Chuck: “We’ve captured Fulcrum agents before, can’t we talk to them?”
Casey: “We tried that, but since this new administration discontinued waterboarding, Fulcrum agents don’t talk.”

In a briefing with General Beckman, Chuck learns that the government has had no luck in finding his father.  Chuck refuses to believe they have exhausted all options, and states he is willing to do “whatever it takes, by any means necessary”.

Chuck: “What if I could get a Fulcrum agent to talk…?”
Chuck: “What if I could get a Fulcrum agent to talk…?”
Jill: “Hi, Chuck….”
Jill: “Hi, Chuck….”

Meeting Jill in prison, Chuck asks for her help.  She refuses, but Chuck, against the wishes of Casey, makes a deal to help her in exchange for information on his father’s whereabouts.  Part of Jill’s deal is that she gets out of prison, but has to wear a monitoring device.

Casey: “If you run or double-cross us, your deal is void. Plus, as an added bonus, she’ll shoot you.”
Casey: “If you run or double-cross us, your deal is void. Plus, as an added bonus, she’ll shoot you.”

Although she doesn’t know where Orion is, Jill knows who might: her father’s best friend who recruited her in Fulcrum, “Uncle” Bernie.  Because he’s only away from his bodyguards for family events, Chuck decides they have to make one up.

Chuck: “Are there any family functions coming up? I’ll guess we’ll have to make one of our own!”
Chuck: “Are there any family functions coming up? I’ll guess we’ll have to make one of our own!”
Jill’s father: “There they are, Mr. and Mrs. Bartowski!”
Jill’s father: “There they are, Mr. and Mrs. Bartowski!”

As Jill’s father tells “the happy couple” they looked so happy together at Stanford, and “deep inside you knew you were right for each other”, Sarah is feeling a little uncomfortable.

 

Casey: “Congratulations, Chuck, you’ve now qualified for conjugal visits.”
Casey: “Congratulations, Chuck, you’ve now qualified for conjugal visits.”

When Bernie, nicknamed “the Carnivore”, arrives, he is somewhat surprised Jill is there, as he knows she is really supposed to be in prison.

Uncle Bernie, the “Carnivore”.
Uncle Bernie, the “Carnivore”.

Bernie takes them upstairs to “give them some advice”, and demands to know how Jill got out of prison. Chuck tells him they just need to know where Orion is, and offers him witness protection. Bernie pulls a gun on them only to be interrupted by Jill’s mother.  Chuck and Jill take advantage of the distraction to run away, and Bernie gives chase.

Sarah and Casey decide they need to get Chuck out of there, and crash the engagement party posing as Chuck’s cousin and boyfriend.

Chuck and Jill lead Bernie on a chase all the way to the 4th floor attic, and as Bernie grabs a bat, keels over from a heart attack.  Sarah and Casey arrive just as Bernie hits the ground and Casey confirms not only that Bernie is dead, but that Chuck has his first kill.

Casey: “What do you call that move, anyway?” Chuck: “What move?” Casey: “That girly move I saw ya doing, what do you call that?” Chuck: “The Morgan.”
Casey: “What do you call that move, anyway?”
Chuck: “What move?”
Casey: “That girly move I saw ya doing, what do you call that?”
Chuck: “The Morgan.”

Back at Castle, Sarah tells Chuck that with Bernie dead, the mission was a bust and Jill has to go back to prison.  Chuck is upset because he feels they can still get pertinent information from Jill, and more importantly, he promised her she wouldn’t have to go back to prison.  Like Chuck’s loyalty to his friends and family, he has a serious problem with being forced to lie or go back on his word.  This is the underlying problem he has with the Intersect in general; being made to keep his family in the dark and make up stories about what he really does.

Sarah tells Chuck that as a Fulcrum agent, Jill is not to be trusted.  Chuck asks Sarah to keep Jill in Castle to perhaps get more information.

Sarah: “Chuck, you have to realize there are some people you just cannot trust”

Chuck: “Sarah, I already know that. I don’t trust anyone…except for you. And right now, I need you to trust me. Jill is the only way I’m going to get my dad back.”

Sarah: “Chuck, the answer is no.”

After Chuck tells Jill she was going back to prison, she warns Chuck they won’t let him go either. The NSA, CIA, and Fulcrum are all the same; they all lie.

Jill: “They changed me. Promise me you won’t let them change you.”
Jill: “They changed me. Promise me you won’t let them change you.”
Jill: “They’re not going to let you go either. Watch your back, Chuck.”
Jill: “They’re not going to let you go either. Watch your back, Chuck.”

As they are preparing to take Jill back to prison, they hear a phone ringing inside Uncle Bernie’s body bag. Chuck answers it, disguising his voice, and finds out Fulcrum is planning on moving Orion.

Sarah and Casey trace the call to the headquarters of the Strength and Leadership Corporation, a front for a Fulcrum recruiting facility, which has holding cells to keep Orion. Jill convinces them to bring her along, as she is familiar with the building.

With Sarah and Jill in the van to supervise the mission, Chuck and Casey are told to say they are there for auditing, which is recruit testing.  Jill guides them to the elevators to access the holding cells, but they are stopped and sent to the testing room.

Chuck: “These are all Fulcrum agents!” Casey: “Don’t worry, killer, when the going gets rough, you can always deploy The Morgan!”
Chuck: “These are all Fulcrum agents!”
Casey: “Don’t worry, killer, when the going gets rough, you can always deploy The Morgan!”

They take the test to avoid suspicion, however, Fulcrum checks their background and figures out Chuck is there to try to rescue Orion.

Chuck: “I’m not going to cheat.” Casey: “You’re kidding, right?” Chuck: “No, I’m not kidding.”
Chuck: “I’m not going to cheat.”
Casey: “You’re kidding, right?”
Chuck: “No, I’m not kidding.”

After the test is complete, Chuck is told he did very well, and Mr. Bergie, the head of recruiting, would like to meet him. Casey is told he had one of the lowest scores ever, and is escorted out of the classroom.  As he is taken down the hallway, Fulcrum agents surround him and he realizes his cover is blown. He takes them out, grabs a key card, and follows Sarah’s instructions to find Chuck.

Chuck is taken to Mr. Bergie, where he is told they know who he really is, and they know he is there to rescue his father. Sarah realizes Chuck is in trouble, and goes in to get him.

Jill: “You have to take me with you!” Sarah: “How do I know I can trust you?” Jill: “You don’t, but you need my help and we are the only chance Chuck’s got.”
Jill: “You have to take me with you!”
Sarah: “How do I know I can trust you?”
Jill: “You don’t, but you need my help and we are the only chance Chuck’s got.”

Sarah and Jill are picked up on the security cameras as they enter the building, the alarm triggered, and a gun battle among the cubicles ensues.

Casey, posing as a window washer, rescues Chuck by blasting through the window from the outside and taking out the Fulcrum agents. He tells Chuck to stay in the office and use the computer to find out where Orion is being held while he leaves to go help Sarah.

Casey: “Looks like I passed THAT test!”
Casey: “Looks like I passed THAT test!”

With Sarah pinned down, Jill takes the opportunity to escape, and overhears agents talking about moving Orion to someplace called “Blackrock”.

Mr. Bergie comes back returns to the office where Chuck is, and tells him the good news that his father is too valuable to kill, but the bad news is, Chuck is not.  Mr. Bergie moves toward Chuck, and Chuck throws down with “The Morgan”.  Mr. Bergie slips on the broken glass from the window, trips over Chuck’s outstretched leg, and tumbles out the window, barely holding on to the window cleaning scaffolding.

Chuck: “What is it with that move…?”
Chuck: “What is it with that move…?”

Chuck goes to help him up, and Jill, hearing him call for help, runs in to keep Chuck from slipping out the window.  But Chuck loses his grip on Mr. Bergie, and Mr. Bergie falls 15 stories to his death.  They both go to the room Orion is being kept only to find he’s already been taken. Jill tells Chuck about “Blackrock”, and he flashes on the location somewhere near Barstow.

Casey finds Sarah, and takes out the Fulcrum agent who flunked him on the test.  Sarah tells Casey Jill escaped, and after contacting Chuck, go to meet up with him.

Before Sarah and Casey get to Chuck and Jill, Chuck cuts off Jill’s monitoring device, and tells her he lied, that there never was any plan to let her out of prison.  But before Jill goes, Chuck gives her the “wedding ring” they used in the fake engagement party to sell for money to survive.

Chuck: “You held up your side of the bargain, and I’m going to hold up mine. I told you I wouldn’t let them change me, and I won’t”
Chuck: “You held up your side of the bargain, and I’m going to hold up mine. I told you I wouldn’t let them change me, and I won’t”
Chuck: “I always dreamt of giving you a ring, just not like this.”
Chuck: “I always dreamt of giving you a ring, just not like this.”

Jill: “You sure you can trust them, right?”

Chuck: “Go….”

Back at Castle, General Beckman is angry that they not only could not rescue Orion, but that Jill escaped. She orders the Human Intersect Project to be shut down and Chuck put in lockdown in a secure facility in Washington DC. Sarah, explaining that Chuck will not go down with out a fight, is ordered to use his trust in her against him, by tricking Chuck into believing they recovered his father, and to lure him into Castle by telling him that’s where he is.  Once in Castle, Casey will tranq Chuck,and he will be extracted to the secure facility.

Sarah is furious that she seems to be the only one who has a problem with Chuck being sent away.

Casey explains, logically, this is the safest place for Chuck, and Sarah reluctantly goes along with the plan.  After all that’s been said, and all the times Sarah has held fast to the rules of being a CIA agent, this is where the last vestiges of the wall between Agent Walker and Girlfriend Sarah reaches the breaking point….

Sarah goes to the Buy More to intercept Chuck and get him into Castle.  When she tells Chuck they found his father, he tells her he knew Jill was wrong when she told him not to trust her, and that he knew Sarah would never betray him.  Looking back at the security camera, knowing she’s being watched by Casey in Castle, she decides to violate her direct order, and to runaway with Chuck to find his father.

Buy More story

Corporate management arrives to evaluate Emmitt’s performance.  Emmitt is aware the Buymorons will use this opportunity to make him look bad,

Emmitt: “Jobs are being shipped to India faster than you can say ‘Would you like fries and a soft drink with that?’”
Emmitt: “Jobs are being shipped to India faster than you can say ‘Would you like fries and a soft drink with that?’”

and Morgan convinces them to “let Rome burn”.

Lester: “Do I work here? No, I just wear this ridiculous outfit so people like you will ask me if I do!”

As the employees of the store run amok, Emmitt calls a secret meeting with Morgan and explains if corporate realizes Emmitt has the store running efficiently, they will promote him out and they won’t have to deal with him anymore.

Emmitt: “Get your merry band of misfits to behave, and I’ll be out of your dirty beard forever.”
Emmitt: “Get your merry band of misfits to behave, and I’ll be out of your dirty beard forever.”

The manager from corporate arrives, and against the wishes of the Buymorons, the employees are on their best behavior.

Lester: “I may look good, but I feel like an IDIOT!”
Lester: “I may look good, but I feel like an IDIOT!”

Emmitt is pleased with the sucking up, but he needs Morgan to do one last thing; get Big Mike on tape saying nice things about him.

Morgan: “Why don’t you have Mr. Mercer speak to Big Mike directly?”

Emmitt: “Because Big Mike needs me. He’ll never say kind words about me, because if I leave, he has to work, and start expending all his energy on the store…rather than expending it on your mother.”

Morgan uses Big Mike’s weakness for Subway sandwiches, and the fact they are family now, to say something about Emmitt.

Big Mike: “If you can’t trust family, who can you trust?”
Big Mike: “If you can’t trust family, who can you trust?”

After Morgan records Big Mike saying Emmitt is a good worker, thereby allowing him to take more time off to go fishing, Morgan overhears a conversation between Mr. Mercer and Emmitt, and discovers Emmitt lied about why corporate was visiting the store.  They were supposed to evaluate Big Mike, and Emmitt never wanted to leave at all, but really wanted Big Mike’s job all along. Once Mr. Mercer learns Big Mike has taken the day off, Mr. Mercer fires Big Mike and gives Emmitt Big Mike’s job as store manager.

Mr. Mercer: “Good luck, Store Manager!”
Mr. Mercer: “Good luck, Store Manager!”

When Big Mike returns to the store, he is demoted to employee and given his greenshirt by Emmitt. As he walks down the line of employees, he tells Morgan he knows it was him, and all the employees turn against him.

Emmitt: “Welcome back to gen-pop [general population…like in prison], Michael. Good luck…!”
Emmitt: “Welcome back to gen-pop [general population…like in prison], Michael. Good luck…!”
Big Mike: “I know it was you, Morgan. You broke my heart!”
Big Mike: “I know it was you, Morgan. You broke my heart!”
Big Mike: “I don’t want anything to happen to him as long his mama and I are dating.”
Big Mike: “I don’t want anything to happen to him as long his mama and I are dating.”

————————————————————————————–

The theme of this episode was “trust”.  Morgan found himself having to trust Emmitt to attain a personal goal, that is to have Emmitt promoted out of the Buy More so the Buymorons could go back to their previous slacking.  When his plan backfired, Morgan understood how important family is, even if it’s family you don’t necessarily want.

Sarah has always tried to maintain a professional attitude in regards to her feelings for Chuck, regardless of how hard it is at times.  However, she realizes, despite how many regulations it violates, that to betray Chuck is more than she is willing to handle.  And it is at this point…right….

…THERE!

Just before she looks back at the security camera, she makes her decision that Chuck, her feelings for him, and his trust in her mean more to her than all the commitments she’s made to the CIA and everything she’s worked for.  Ironically, she does exactly for Chuck what Chuck does for Jill…with one small, but very significant difference.

Whatever Jill may have felt for or done to Chuck, he always had genuine feelings for her.  Out of respect for those feelings, and because he’s a better person than Jill turned out to be, he not only helps Jill get away, but he gives her the financial means to go off the grid because, as he tells her, she “has no friends out there”.  If you read between the lines, he’s done with her.  He’ll help her escape, but once she’s out, not to bother coming back. To put it in the vernacular, “Don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!”  When Sarah helps Chuck escape, she not only gives him the means to escape, but she goes with him.  And she turns her back on everything she’s worked towards for nearly half her life.  Not only that, as we will see in the next episode, she makes Chuck’s quest to find his father her quest as well.  She makes his personal mission her personal mission, too.

Whatever happens going forward with these two (and we are by no means out of the woods), Sarah has had the taste of normalcy. She finally understands what makes Chuck tick by having real feelings outside the spy life for perhaps the first time in her life.  Her relationship with Bryce, and with Chuck up to this point, has always been cleverly concealed in the spy life.  Sure, her and Bryce had some hanky-panky (she has “needs and desires”, after all!), but she was as emotionally invested in that as she was with the Cole’s steamy kiss.  She could always rationalize her way out of having to face her emotions by chalking it up to just doing her job as his handler. But once Chuck lays it out to her that he knew she would never betray him (as she’s in the process of doing just that!), she has to finally make a choice, one that she will not forget and once tasted, will continue to revisit. We could forever debate whether she still would have run away with him if he didn’t bear his soul to her, but the fact is he did at precisely the right moment.  Chuck and Sarah’s relationship will have bumps-a-plenty in the coming episodes, but she never loses sight of what she felt in this episode.  I think that’s what makes it possible for Chuck to win her back after many mistakes, some very serious.

7 comments

  1. Skorpeo,

    Well done my friend, the final minutes really set up season 3 nicely. Three characters are starting to change in this episode. The beauty of arcs are just that. We watch three of them change paths, and yet stay the same. We know Chuck will always be Chuck, but when faced with real life situations like his father being kidnapped, and having to work with Jill in order to do that means he is being to understand the spy life, but at what cost does that mean you lose yourself?

    I have often look at this particular arc as the start of Chuck beginning to use spy craft to his advantage. For example, Chuck in Season one would of never thought he can enter a fulcrum facility on his own and really before he knew his father was Orion. Then he came up with a plan on using Jill, but he got over on the government for not helping him find his father, let jill go.

    As you said, Sarah did the same. The problem is and will always be the monkey in the room. There are two hurdles Chuck and Sarah must get past before pursuing each other. Exes and the agency. I find this as the start of season 3 and the build up to a particular incident that happened later on in the story.

  2. I really like watching Morgan mature and come out of his “idiot shell” during the latter part of S02 and into S03. No one seems to pay attention to him because, well, for the most part he’s crown prince of the Buymorons. But not only does he start having great insight into Chuck, Sarah, Ellie, Awesome and their respective relationships, but he becomes the little brother Ellie never thought she wanted. Once Morgan gets over his infatuation of Ellie (and we can thank Anna for that), she starts to truly appreciate him for the intelligent person he’s become,and actually appreciates his advice and wisdom. Everyone, Chuck included, continues to not really take him seriously, but this is about where he starts to become an invaluable member of Team Bartowski we see in later seasons. There’s no way the Morgan of season 1 could ever become the de facto partner of Col. John Casey, much less the love interest of his daughter.

  3. I never felt Chuck was washing his hands of Jill with any ill intent. To me, Chuck realized that Jill was almost a reluctant “bad guy”, and but for the grace of God or the powers that be, Sarah could have ended up exactly where Jill was. Jill’s message that the CIA, NSA or Fulcrum are all the same was prescient, and very much in play in the second half of this episode. I believe that Chuck was very much looking out for Jill’s well-being in letting her go and giving her the ring so she could escape that life…a life he was still very much trapped in. It would be foolish to think he could do anything more for her than he did at that moment.

  4. “I never felt Chuck was washing his hands of Jill with any ill intent.”

    I agree. I don’t think Chuck has a vindictive bone in his body. But at the same time, it’s interesting the two reactions to essentially the same problem.

    • It wasn’t really the same problem …. there was no longer a relationship between Chuck and Jill. He wouldn’t and couldn’t do anything more than he did for Jill. She was only a means to an end…his focus was on finding his Dad. I think he also realized that Jill was not as bad as he first thought she was, and Jill was still worried about Chuck, or she wouldn’t have come back to help him. He was done with her when she seemed to have Sarah in her sights, and he arrested her. But since she did her part, Chuck did the noble thing and repaid her. Like I said, it could have been Sarah that was recruited by Fulcrum, and she would have been the same as what the CIA trained her for.

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