Rewatch Week Fourteen: Episode One Season Two: Season Premiere

CHUCK VS THE FIRST DATE

Well folks, we have put away our season one DVDs and Blue Rays, and put in season two, really we have reached the start of the series. Season One was filled with stand alone episodes that reinforced the characters.

The road map of the main characters have been set. By the time Nemesis  came around we learned of the baddies of the future by the name of Fulcrum. The bad guys of season two. While the Pilot was an amazing episode, Chuck vs The First Date was just as special.  We are in midst of the second Arc of Chuck, which will change not only Chuck and Sarah, but we get a change in Casey as well. So, Let’s get into Chuck vs The First Date. Let’s continue our road to ninety-one

Main Story

For people to understand this episode, we need to examine for minute where we left off.  In Chuck vs Marlin, we last saw Sarah watching Chuck through a window as she watched him and his family celebrate Ellie and Awesome’s engagement.  Sarah looking into the window showed remorse. She wanted to be in the apartment by Chuck’s side. However, the agent inside of her. The  alter ego that prevented Sarah to truly allow her feelings to overtake her being.

Saran claiming Chuck and his family as hers

When the episode begins Michael Clarke Duncan threatens Chuck to hand over the cipher or he was going to drop him. Chuck tried to tell him if he dropped him, a couple of people would be very angry with him.

Chuck also knew Casey and Sarah were making their way up to the room, which he tried to delay Mr. Colt by telling without revealing too much his role in the CIA.  Colt didn’t believe, but before he could drop Chuck. Both agents came shooting their way into the room.

Casey said, “Drop him.” However, Sarah didn’t want Colt to drop him out the window, and said as much. Colt flung Chuck into the couch, and Sarah instantly asked him why didn’t you stay in the car.

and one of Chuck’s best lines of the series would be said.

Chuck: You know what, it’s never safe in the car

The agents asked him did you get the cipher. While Chuck hesitated to answer. He  ruffled their feathers a bit, but told them he did have the cipher. Casey took it from, and Sarah was smiling at Chuck as she walked away.

Sarah  loves working with Chuck

Back at Castle, Sarah asked Beckman and Graham about mercenaries breaking into a NSA lab and all they take is the cipher. Beckman explained how the agency was building their own Intersect. The cipher was the final piece.

The news got Chuck’s attention. He didn’t hesitate asking about the old intersect. In tongue in cheek, Graham told Chuck he would be free from the spy world. No more spies, missions he would be free from the agency. Both agents looked at Chuck as the briefing was ending.

Sarah would follow Chuck out of Casey’s apartment. It is an important scene in the courtyard because it was key misread by Chuck. Sarah was asking Chuck about his future, and when Chuck was settling for working at the Buymore, Sarah jumped at the opportunity to offer herself to him without saying as much.

There is facial expression Sarah does that indicates when she said “Anything you want, you can have.” While Chuck thought Sarah was referring to career, Sarah really was telling him she wanted to be with him. The fact that Chuck was done being an asset allowed her to commit to him personally. Something she was eager by this expression.

Anything you want includes me, Chuck
Sarah: 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.

Sarah coaching up Chuck

For the first Poll question of Season Two, I ask you this,

As Chuck and Sarah are talking outside, Casey was anticipating the general was going to call back. When she did, she ordered Casey to kill Bartowski. I have written an article about how this arc made significant changes to all three members of Team Bartowski.

Here is that article,

The First Seductive Marlin Break up.

Casey had trouble following these orders because Casey has grown to like and respect Chuck. The change happened after Chuck helped through the Ilsa revelation. Something Casey took to heart. It’s why when performing  target practice his shot of Bartowski was a miss.

He use to like the sound of that

All of this before the credits, what a start to season two.

For the full write-up of the episode please read this article,

Chuck vs The First Date, 

Chuck woke up to the sound of Huey Lewis and the News, Hip to be Square, which is a nomination for song of the episode {More on that later}  He was excited with the idea of being free from the agency by night’s end.

Waking up to a smile

Chuck gets the full frontal view of Awesome As he walked into the bathroom we have a very funny scene  Chuck walked into the bathroom while. Awesome and Ellie were showering. It showed how happy Chuck was not noticing or hearing the shower on, but he was blinded by the sight of seeing the lower region of Dr. Woodcomb. It set up an awkward breakfast scene.

Chuck would let Ellie know about wanting to leave the Buymore, and he thought it was time to move on in his life. It made Ellie very happy to hear such news but she wanted to remain calm. They asked him why the sudden change of heart. We as fans know why, but Chuck couldn’t reveal his secret just yet.

At the Buymore, Chuck walked into the store to the tune of Returning to The Fold by the Thermals–Another Song of the episode nomination. He found Morgan, who wanted to go over the Call of Duty strategy for their mission against the Large Mart goons.

Morgan would let Chuck know Big Mike was looking for him, but before Chuck went to Big Mike’s office. He saw Casey, and went to give his gratitude for catching him when he fell.

Here is a sign of the change from Casey. Chuck doesn’t know what is going on in Casey’s’ head. He doesn’t know Casey was ordered to kill him. Sarah doesn’t know he was ordered to kill Chuck. It actually is bothering Casey.

The stone cold killer who said stick him in a room with rubber walls from the pilot was actually showing remorse. He could barely talk to Bartowski, which Chuck didn’t pick up on.

A deadly secret Mr. Casey has Chuck tanking Casey for his efforts

The Bartowski effect was in full swing. Chuck influence the lives of Bryce, Sarah and Casey. The influence of Casey is quite remarkable because of the killer machine he is.  His charms and way of life made both agents become soft at heart, and when told to kill Bartowski, Casey at this point is struggling with concept of following this order .

Lucky for Casey, Big Mike called Bartowski into his office. Big Mike would offer the assistant mangers position, which Chuck turned down. It upset Morgan because it was his dream for Chuck to be the big man, and for Morgan to be his right hand, but Morgan assumed it was Sarah that caused Chuck to reconsider his time not only as the assistant manager of the Buymore, but to be working at the store was coming to end

While Morgan was saying this, Chuck was thinking about her. He ran over to the story, and one of the best Charah moments of the series. He asked her out on a “real date.” What makes me proud in this scene would be Sarah’s expression after he asked her. She also recognized that this would be their second first date.

The response makes the viewer know for the first time her feelings on the first date back in the pilot. She saw it as a real date not a cover. In the scene, we get the third song of the episode nomination Flight of Concord’s Foux Du Fafa.

Let’s take a look at the scene, follow by my take on the expressions after Chuck leaves the Orange Orange. Speaking of the frozen yogurt shop. Chuck vs The Marlin marked the end of the Wienerlicious, and Sarah Walker’s new gig was the Orange Orange.

Sarah was in tune with what was going on. There was no mission because if there was we know by now Sarah would have come to the Buymore or have called. She knew Chuck coming over was of the personal variety. Sarah was going to have some fun with this, and she does. I didn’t believe her when she said she was still a CIA agent stuff. She was going to make Chuck work for it.

Sarah playing Hard to get

The reason I believe that was her reaction after Chuck asked her out. She has been waiting for Chuck to man up, and he didn’t disappoint. Men don’t understand women if they think otherwise besides Sarah asked him out first to begin with.

Victory is hers
A satisfied Sarah after Chuck asked her out.

It was a very interesting repeat from the pilot watching Chuck and Sarah get dress for their date, but something was different this time. Casey was getting dressed to execute his orders. Sarah walks out of the room in a stunning midnight purple dress. She took one look at her gun and decided to leave it home.

Another thing to compare with the pilot would be how she doled herself up for this second first date. In the pilot she loaded herself up with weapons and body armor, she didn’t fix her hair like she did in this episode. She was her stunning self and actually was preparing for an evening with a man she had grown to love.

Look at the differences and see the significant change in Sarah. The same can be said for Chuck. He isn’t the bumbling idiot from the pilot. He is confident and walking with a hop to his step.

From First Date,

From the Pilot,

The difference also was watching Casey  performing target practice. He had no issues shooting Hitler or Bin Laden. He didn’t shoot his favorite president, and missed wide left when Bartowski’s picture came up.

and the fourth song of the episode nominated played in this scene. Phantom Planet’s Dropped was the song.

Before Chuck could leave for his date, Ellie stopped Chuck to discuss his future, and jokingly told his sister what he was doing,but she took it as Chuck being Chuck, so while he was excited about leaving the spy world. He admitted to his sister that may not be the case. The reason being is Sarah was leaving. Thus, the opportunity to be with her was something he was thinking about.

Most men leave the lives they were living to be with the woman they love. I am a prime example of this,  I moved from the city to be with my wife and her family. The right thing for Chuck was to move from his comfortable life, and enter Sarah’s because it offered adventure and most importantly it was for her

While Chuck and Sarah were on their date,  there is a noticeable difference between this Chuck and the one we saw in season one. He has swagger, moxy oozing with confidence, and she was receptive to it. There was no signs of the nerd in him. He was being the ever charming loving self. The Chuck she was falling for.  The Chuck we were falling for. Yes, I’d admit this Chuck will always be my favorite because it’s the Chuck I prefer.

It saddens her that she has to leave
Sarah: They’ll probably give me a new cover, and move me as far away from here as possible.

He is flirting and coming on to Sarah, and it was making her smile and hoping to kiss him. Remember they haven’t had that kind of  moment since Hard Salami. The need for intimacy was building again. Everything was going great, a kiss a moment away, but the scene shifts to Casey’s apartment.

Kiss me you fool
She is begging for a kiss.

Sarah is all into this kiss

And Chuck is eager to oblige, but while Chuck and Sarah are working the wonders of love. Casey got ambushed by Colt and his men. They were able to require the cipher, and set their sights on our favorite couple. Problem here was Sarah doesn’t have a weapon because she doesn’t bring a gun on a real date.

As Chuck and Sarah were leaning in for a kiss, Chuck looked at one of the patron and began to flash on the person. Soon he would flash on everyone in the room. Colt walked in behind Chuck and we have our first line of the episode.

For Chuck vs The First Date, we have Mr. Colt getting the honors.

The impsing Mr. Colt
Mr. Colt: Cause I assume you find me imposing. Don’t worry, be honest. I’m going for imposing.

Chuck was trying to stall as long as he could so Sarah could sneak attack Colt, but it failed. Colt countered by applying a choke grip on Sarah. It seem bleak for Charah, but Chuck’s watch started to blink. Casey activated the homing device and came crashing into the restaurant.  Casey had another great line, but lost to Colt.

Casey: Somebody order drive thru.

Colt would land a haymaker on Casey for his troubles. As the team was drive away from the scene. Chuck complained about Casey method of rescuing them. Sarah made claim on returning so they could find out who they work for. Charah would also find out Colt regained the cipher.

The next day Chuck woke up to another Huey Lewis and The News song, Power of Love, in which Chuck dejected by the news of Colt regaining possession of the cipher and remaining a government asset. He sat at his desk mopping.

Morgan would remind Chuck about picking the new assistant manager, which is one of the best Buymore scenes ever. I am not big on the Buymore Shenanigans, but this was a classic Chuck moment.

Chuck was finishing up with Lester when Casey came barging into the break room. When he went to get first aid, Chuck honed in on the tattoo left on Casey’s face courtesy of Mr. Colt.  It made Chuck flash on the hideout whereabouts. He would tell Casey, but Casey was not eager to pounce because of what he knew. It was a very noticeable delay tactic that set Chuck off.

The heated words from Chuck made Casey ask him “What, you don’t want me around to catch you when you fall.” Chuck took a second but reiterated his disdain for being an asset. The tirade would cause Casey to call Sarah in preparation to storm the hideout.

Chuck came over to the Orange and as Casey and Sarah were leaving for the raid. Chuck kept asking them let him come with them, and they both said “Charles Carmichael is not your name, you made him up.” “You are not a spy, Chuck” Sarah finished off the dose of reality by telling Chuck to return to the store.

When he returned to the Buymore, he couldn’t find anyone from his department, and asked Big Mike if he saw them. He said, there was a nerd herd emergency and they wanted him. Chuck went to answer the call, and as Sarah and Casey walked into an empty room, Chuck was greeted by Mr. Colt.

Mr. Colt informed Chuck since he heard his voice and saw his face. He would have to kill Chuck.  Colt started stretching and getting limber so he didn’t pull a muscle when breaking Chuck’s neck. While Colt was telling what he was planning to do to Casey and Sarah, Colt would spark a plan into Chuck’s mind.

One of the best things about Chuck is uncanny ability to think on his feet. He remembered the plans Morgan went over with him regarding Call of Duty, and reiterated it to Colt. At first, Colt thought Chuck was bluffing, but while Chuck had his eye the cipher, Colt finally gave into Bartowski’s trickery.

When Colt turned back towards Chuck, he saw Chuck’s plan worked, but didn’t last long as he caught up to Chuck and pushed him through the window and dragged him towards the edge of the building. Where he hung Chuck over the side of the building by his feet. Casey and Sarah made it to the building and as Sarah said freeze, Colt dropped Bartowski claiming it wasn’t worth it.

Watching Chuck fall out of sight made Sarah scream “No” The way she said it made it that more special of scene. One of the new things for season two was Yvonne Strahovski started to do her own stunts, and her fight with Colt was one of her best, and it also is a precursor of what I term as rampage Sarah.

My favorite screen cap  was this one,Death does not become her

 Let’s backtrack a minute and refresh ourselves. Sarah dealt with another woman.

The Birth of Sarah The Girlfriend

She handled it well for the most part because she was able to do this, months of build-up and realizing she had feelings for Chuck drove her to kiss him.

cropped-months-of-build-up-all-done-in-this-kiss.jpg

Second, she dealt with the threat of him being bunkered. It would have meant being assigned somewhere far from Chuck. Something she could live with. She arrived at the helipad a broken woman because of the idea of losing Chuck.

Sarah visibly distraught in losing Chuck without a goodbye

and with the assistance from Casey, she would prevent the extraction of Chuck. No matter how bad Chuck being bunkered or dating other women nothing could hurt more than death.

Save you later

The idea of watching Chuck drop out of her life for ever was too much to bear. Something that drove the love out of her for the minutes she though he was gone. In her mind, Chuck was dead and she was not alright with that.

Chuck dead was very painful for Sarah

 However, what Sarah didn’t know was Casey caught Chuck in mid-air and swung him to the firescape below him. It was a well done scene in my view.

As Casey reached the roof, Sarah and Colt were pretty much done with their clash, but Colt’s men made it to the roof as well, and surrounded Casey and Sarah.  Colt would only have the upper hand for a little bit because Chuck came crashing the party with the very men he said had surrounded the compound. As Colt was being arrested, he would claim Carmichael is good.

Sarah was really relieved to see Chuck was alive. In fact, she didn’t care if everyone saw her smile ear from ear. Chuck would assure her about being fine, and gave the cipher to them.

Sarah seeing Chuck alive was worth the fight

Casey would get a call from Beckman about putting down Bartowski, but before Beckman signed off. Casey voiced his displeasure in killing Chuck. He even suggested that Chuck may have a spot in the agency as an analyst, but before Beckman could speak. Graham cut her off and placed reality for Casey.  The risks Bartowski would face on daily basis if anyone found out his secret. Especially with Fulcrum looming.

Chuck was preparing a dinner for him and Sarah. Ellie offered to help him, but Chuck said it was ok. and we get the final nomination for song of the episode. Frightened Rabbit’s The Twist played as Chuck was preparing the table, and Casey snuck through the Morgan door.

Graham was uploading the cipher, and not too long after the cipher uploaded did the message Fulcrum, Thanks you came on the screen. It was a set up because a huge explosion would kill the agents and Graham.

Casey had two opportunities to shoot Chuck, but his reluctance made him unable to pull the trigger. The sound of the door bell as Sarah was at the door telling him about the explosion.  Froze and once he heard the good news of Chuck still being the Intersect made him know the kill order would have been pulled because of it.

Two things happened in this scene that sets the stage for the season already. Fulcrum means business. They are not going away and by striking the way they did would indicate their desire on bring down the CIA. They killed Graham. The CIA director.

Sarah feeling sorry for Chuck Casey listening in

The second would be both Casey and Sarah’s reactions to the news of Chuck remaining the only human intersect. Casey was happy because he didn’t have to kill him, and Sarah was truly sorry when she had to be the one who brought the bad news.

In other words, Chuck, Sarah and Casey all are on the path of change. It will be a struggle through this season, but its a change that helped developed them into strong characters.

One episode in the books, and so much happened. An epic premiere, but it only gets better from here. More great guest stars like Michael Clarke Duncan. Especially in the next episode.

As Page of Fame Inductee, John Larroquette will make his debut in the series. Chuck vs The Seduction will also have a special moment between Chuck and Sarah.

Well, that concludes the main story of the episode.

Song of the Episode Nominations 

new to the season two rewatch would be the opportunity to include fan interaction. As you can see above, There are song nominations from the First Date.

You will be able to vote on the song of the episode. I will announce the winner on Fridays at noon. Here are the nominations for Song of the Episode for First Date.

On to Seduction.

 

 

7 comments

  1. Hit all the high points, Chris.

    Just a small bone of contention….I don’t think either Sarah or Casey were feeling remorse. Sarah was probably feeling regret or maybe envy for not being with Chuck and Ellie. Casey was certainly conflicted, but not remorseful, since he hadn’t done anything yet.

      • LOL… I’m trying to think of any instance that Casey or Sarah felt remorse, which is really just a deep regret for an action that you’ve done. I think Sarah was remorseful after her Red Test, which led to her need to bury her emotions. She may have been remorseful after the part she played in Chuck’s Red Test, but it was certainly a paradoxical response she had, if she actually did feel some remorse there.

        As for your first poll, it’s a tough one to answer in black and white. She certainly framed the statement within the context of Chuck doing something with his life ( being more than just a Nerd Herder), and not in the personal context. But instead of saying “…do anything you want.”, she certainly reframed the statement when she said, “…have anything you want.”, which was personal and probably applied to herself. The thing about Sarah’s comments to Chuck during Season 2 was that they often contained mixed messages….she often led Chuck to believe she was something he could have, but that he could also do great things. AND she very often put it in the context of spying / hero stuff. No wonder Chuck felt that his main option in life to be with Sarah almost certainly involved being a spy.

      • Gary,

        I realized something while watching First Date, and it helped me understand Chuck and Sarah’s relationship a little better now. What is the common thread here. Chuck loves his friends and family, we know this at this stage of the story.

        and without giving any spoilers away, We know Sarah loves to spy and it dawned on me while watching some of Season 3 episodes mixed in with Season 2. He is what i came up with. Essentially, since her teenage years, the CIA has been her family. Her life lessons were taught from life as a spy and she grew and accepted as much. With that said, Chuck did what most men do. They give up the lives they were living in order to be with the family of the wife.

        Chuck wanted to leave the Buymore and his way of life in order to appease Sarah, which was a total misread because Sarah wanted in on his life. It’s really a strange occurance but the woman usually doesn’t want to move away from her family. I know because its what I did. I moved from New York City to Westchester County in order to be with my wife. i couldn’t make her leave her family. Chuck knew in his heart Sarah wasn’t going to give up spying. Does this make sense?

      • Well, watching the series as we have, we know that Sarah’s life and identity are tied up in being a spy…it is how she identifies herself…it’s what she knows. Burying her emotions was her coping mechanism for staying in the only life she knew. So, it is possible to say that it was Sarah’s “family”. But I don’t think it was Chuck’s “life” she wanted, it was Chuck…his personality, his essence…the way he conducted himself, the way he trusted people and what he would do for those around him. He himself was her “home” … ( spoiler alert !) That’s why she dropped hints that Chuck could have her AND be a spy in season 2. That was her ideal situation …. to have Chuck and her spy life…because Chuck counterbalanced the negative parts of being a spy. Remember, Sarah wasn’t always emotionless, she learned to bury her emotions. Big difference…and I think it was eating at her a lot. Chuck was much more perceptive than most give him credit for …he KNEW that Sarah was a spy…and she was really good at it. He didn’t want her to give up her life for his, mostly because he didn’t even like his life. But he was really looking for what his true destiny was, and I think he saw it in Sarah. So he wanted in on Sarah’s life and was (eventually) willing to do whatever to be in her life. But remember….. that’s who Chuck was as well …

  2. Chuck, the ‘world is your oyster’ but there was never any hint that Sarah was going to drop everything and become a full-time girlfriend. I don’t think Sarah was thinking that far a-head.

    Experience teaches people to plan ahead, but both Chuck and Sarah are way to naive at this early stage. Casey probably has more wisdom here.

    “…have anything you want.” also implies ‘achieve anything you want’. But achievement implies time and effort. This is something Sarah represents throughout every season in ‘Chuckology’ – Sarah is the person who drives and encourages Chuck to achieve. She is positioning herself as the ‘woman behind the man’ and as a result, she wants to own a part of his success – and you only do that for someone you appreciate in a very heart felt way.

    “…have anything you want.” – parents and teachers use this phrase as well.

    I believe Sarah wants to set herself up as someone within Chuck’s sights but not as a prize, more as an equal. But because Chuck could theoretically exist in two worlds (spy world/real world) then Sarah gets a pay back on her investment – they become partners (thus we see Sarah becoming proud of Chuck, continually encouraging him). This is her first foray into exploring/developing her own emotional needs. Unfortunately, to ask questions of another requires us to understand ourselves (which becomes an issue for Sarah)

    But as you said, “She was going to make Chuck work for it.” Every other guy had to in some way, so why let Chuck get off so easily. Good things happen because you work hard.

    The downside to that is, Chuck could easily divide himself as a split person – Spy or Buy More employee/family man but during this season we start to see that Sarah is setting her own moral code. So for Chuck to be successful in her eyes, he needs to discover her rules of engagement. After all, don’t all girls try to change their guy.

    This implies the start of a relationship and a whole host of new themes – trust, honour, expectation, hope, desire, loyalty etc …

    In season 1 we saw Chuck trusting in Sarah and Sarah being their for him. In season 2 we see Sarah wanting to understand and become a part of Chuck.

  3. You said:
    “Chuck came over to the Orange and as Casey and Sarah were leaving for the raid. Chuck kept asking them let him come with them, and they both said “Charles Carmichael is not your name, you made him up.” “You are not a spy, Chuck” Sarah finished off the dose of reality by telling Chuck to return to the store.”

    Agreed.

    It was the bad guys that brought Charles Carmichael to life.

    In fact, they gave Chuck the respect even quicker than Sarah and Casey. Why we ask, simple, because the bad guys assumed he was a full blown spy. They didn’t know about a nerdy guy (asset) from Buy More.

    Which does reflect on the theme of pre-conceived notions that the CIA/NSA hold about themselves – on the street, you earn credibility through performance on a current gig (what you are doing now). Through a spy organisation your credibility is based on your last gig (what you did previously).

    Charles Carmichael and his ability to improvise was also showing a tendency to think like Carina from season 1. And remember, Sarah does not like surprises.

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