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And now, may I present to you episode 1 of 91:
CHUCK VERSUS THE INTERSECT
Chuck and Morgan are seen preparing for what seems like a dangerous spy mission.
Chuck: Morgan, this is a bad idea.
Morgan: Well, we can't stay here, Chuck!
Chuck: I'm uncomfortable with the plan.
Morgan: The plan? What plan?! This is survival! (There's a knock on the door) That's her, we've been compromised! I'm a ghost!
Chuck: Morgan, you can't leave me like this. You can't do this to me, man.
Ellie walks into the room, turns on the light to reveal Morgan hanging out of the window and Chuck sitting down on the floor.
Ellie: Chuck? What're you doing?!
Chuck: Uhhh, escaping?
Ellie: From your own birthday party.
Morgan: (Seemingly hanging out of the window at some height) Hey, Ellie! Wow, you look fan... (loses grip) ...tastic!
Chuck: Uhhh, you know, sis, the th... the thing is Morgan and I don't really feel like we're fitting in. At my birthday party. 'Cause we don't know anybody. 'Cus they're all your friends. And they all happen to be doctors.
Morgan: Doctors who don't really get our jokes.
Chuck: Well, your jokes.
Morgan: Okay, my jokes.
Ellie drags Chuck to the party.
Ellie: Birthday boy. Come with me. We're gonna be social. You are funny. You are smart. You are handsome!
Chuck: Thank you. Oh, there's Captain Awesome.
Ellie: Please don't call him that.
Captain Awesome: Okay, I've identified some candidates for Chuck and they are awesome. (Brings him to the ladies) Let me introduce you to Chuck, Ellie's brother.
Girl #1: Hi, Chuck! I've heard so much about you.
Girl #2: Are you wearing a costume?
Chuck: No, I, I, I work for the Nerd Herd.
Girl #1: Nerd Herd?! That is so cute! Whaddya really wanna do?
Chuck: Working on my five-year plan, just need to choose a font.
Girl #3: What happened here? Did you hurt your hand?
Chuck: (Revealing his taped up fingers) No, no. It's from Call of Duty. The controller chafes after several hours.
Bryce Larkin breaks into the Intersect room and steals the device.
Bryce: It's hard to say goodbye.
Chuck continues to talk to the girls, now reminiscing about his old college roommate, Bryce, and his ex Jill.
Ellie: How's he doing?
Captain Awesome: Not Awesome.
With security forces trying to enter the room, Bryce blows it up, fights his way out like a trained ninja monkey, and escapes. But just as he thinks he is safe, he is shot by NSA agent Major John Casey.
Casey: (Having already shot Bryce) Don't move.
Bryce: (With his dying breath) Too late Casey (he presses send on his handheld device which quickly self-destructs).
Chuck and Ellie discuss Jill and Stanford by the fountain and eventually Morgan reveals his obsession with Ellie and her uncomfortableness with him.
As Morgan plays video games in Chuck's room, an email from Bryce is received on Chuck's computer.
Morgan: Wow. Blast from the past wow. Bryce remembered your birthday, dude.
Morgan: Bryce. The guy who got you kicked out of school. The guy who stole your girl. Remember that guy?
Chuck: (Walking over to his computer) Yeah, Morgan. I think I remember Bryce.
As they read the email it becomes evident that it is an old Zork text-based video game riddle. Chuck sends Morgan home and then figures out the code which launches the Intersect download into his brain. He watches the stream and eventually passes out cold.
Morgan wakes Chuck up the following morning.
Chuck: Did you spike the punch?
Morgan: Something goes wrong you blame me. After all these years. Where's the trust? (Pause) Yes, I did.
Chuck takes a shower and listens to the morning radio. He experiences his first flash.
Morgan and Chuck leave for work and Chuck complains of a headache. He asks Morgan to drive but instinctively warns him of traffic.
Chuck: Do me a favor and stay off the 5, okay? 'Cause the cops are in a phased (pause) deployment.
Morgan: (After a long pause) Okay. Thanks for the tip, Ponch.
Chuck debriefs the Nerd Herd crew about the Irene Demova virus, named after a Serbian porn star.
Chuck: Lonely dude call volume will be high. This is a nasty one, kids. It's a computer killer. Last night, the display version of our Prism Express laptop was fried when someone (looks over at Morgan) decided to enter Miss Demova's website. Anna, close the eyes. This is what happens.
Chuck hits enter on the keyboard and the virus seemingly attacks the laptop. Chuck and the gang turn around to look at Morgan.
Morgan: Sorry, Chuck! She drives me crazy! But that's love.
Morgan turns the TV on and Chuck experiences his second flash upon seeing a news report about an arriving general.
At the Directorate of National Intelligence, in Washington D.C., Casey is given his mission to go find out who Bryce sent the Intersect to and to retrieve it.
CIA Agent Sarah Walker arrives at the Buy More and walks toward Chuck and Morgan at the Nerd Herd front desk. Chuck is busy on the phone but Morgan sees Sarah approaching.
Morgan: Stop the presses. Who is that? Vicky Vale!
Chuck: (Still on the phone, oblivious) Vicky Vale. Vic-Va Vicky Vale. Voogeddyvoogeddy Vicky Vale. Vic-Va Vicky Vale. (Suddenly notices Sarah and drops everything)
Sarah: I hope I'm not interrupting.
Chuck: No. Not at all. Uhhh, that's from, it's from Batman.
Sarah: 'Cause that makes it better.
Morgan: Ahh, hi! Hey, I'm, I'm Morgan. And this is uhh, this is Chuck.
Sarah: Wow, I didn't think people still named their kids Chuck. Or Morgan for that matter.
Chuck: My parents are sadists. And carnival freaks found him in a dumpster.
Morgan: But they raised me as one of their own.
Chuck fixes Sarah's phone, then is approached by a father and his daughter about a digital camera that didn't record her recital.
Chuck saves the day by recording the little ballerina dancing in the Buy More media room. As he tries to return to a smiling Sarah he is intercepted by Harry Tang.
Chuck: Hi, Harry. Ahh, look we'll be back up and running in five minutes.
Tang: Five minutes? Do you know what five minutes means in Buy More dollars?
Chuck: I didn't realize we had our own currency. Look, I'm sorry about all the commotion...
Tang: We're not stock boys anymore, Chuck! We are leaders! Buy More leaders. And you wonder why Big Mike wants me for assistant manager.
Chuck: Wha, there's an open position? Big Mike didn't tell me about that.
Tang: And why should he? He knows you won't leave the comfort of the herrrrd.
Harry Tang leaves and Chuck returns his gaze back to the Nerd Herd desk but Sarah has left.
Morgan: Chuck, dude. She left you her card.
Back at the apartment complex, Chuck and Morgan discuss why Chuck won't call Sarah.
Chuck and Morgan enter the apartment and confront a ninja who appears to be stealing Chuck's computer. The ninja easily defeats them both but the computer is destroyed in the process. The ninja leaves and is revealed to be Sarah.
At the Buy More, Jeff and Lester check out Chuck's computer and declare it dead.
Jeff: What if you were the unwitting target of a ninja vendetta and he returns tonight to strangle you with his nunchucks?
Chuck: That's super, Jeff. Thanks for thinking outside the box on that one. And here I thought I couldn't get any more freaked out.
Chuck goes to the Large Mart to buy new locks and flashes on an enemy agent. He doesn't understand what is happening and freaks out, thinking the person is stalking him in the store.
Sarah sits in her car in the Buy More parking lot and talks to her boss at the CIA, Langston Graham.
Sarah: I have eyes on him, right now. And like I said, the computer was destroyed. Beyond repair.
Graham: Okay. It's done. I want you in the air in an hour.
Sarah: But what if he has an external drive? A backup...
Graham: It's over, Sarah. The NSA is stepping in. Bryce was CIA, he was our guy. And he burned us. Casey's on his way out. You're being recalled.
Sarah: 'Cause of Casey. He's a burnout.
Graham: He's a killer, Sarah. Cold school. I want you to listen to me. Whatever happened with Bryce, you couldn't have known. You couldn't have stopped.
Sarah: But I can fix it. If there's a backup, I'll find it. Just give me 12-hours.
Chuck is at the Nerd Herd desk, head on the table, buried in his arms.
Chuck: I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind.
Sarah presses the bell on the desk.
Chuck: Morgan, not now.
Chuck, still with his head down, reaches for the hand that just pressed the bell and realizes it is not Morgan, sees Sarah and springs up.
Chuck: Hi! Hi! Uhh, phone trouble? Again?
Sarah: Ahhh, yeah. I'm not sure I'm able to receive calls. 'Cause I never got one from you.
Sarah asks Chuck out on a date and Chuck accepts.
Casey observes Sarah leaving the Buy More.
Chuck arrives at home and finds Ellie and Awesome relaxing on the couch watching TV.
Ellie: Hey, Chuck.
Chuck: Ellie. Captain. Don't freak out. Remain calm. I have some news.
Morgan comes running in and launches himself at Chuck, grabbing a hold of him and wrapping his legs around him.
Morgan: Chuck's got a date!
Ellie: What?! Who?
Awesome: Way to go, Chuck. That's awesome.
A montage sequence of Chuck and Sarah getting ready for their date.
Chuck and Morgan are outside in the courtyard when Ellie hurries out with flowers.
Ellie: Chuck. Hey. So these are left over from the party.
Ellie: Take this.
Chuck: Oh, okay.
Ellie: And, uhh, don't forget about the old-girlfriend rule.
Chuck: Right. Got it. No mention of Jill.
Ellie: Aces, Charles. You're aces.
Chuck: A dad quote. I'm impressed. Love you, sis.
Ellie: I love you. Have fun.
Chuck: I will. I'll try.
Chuck leaves and Morgan is left behind, staring stupidly at Ellie.
Morgan: Just, they grow up so fast, you know, and...
Ellie: (Annoyed) Go home, Morgan. Just go home. Go home.
Sarah is on the phone with Graham at her apartment.
Sarah: He's picking me up for a date.
Graham: You're on your own on this one, Sarah. I can't help you if something goes wrong.
Sarah: I don't know about this guy, Graham.
Graham: Nice guys aren't sent government secrets.
There's a knock at her door. She loads her gun and walks toward the door, still talking on the phone.
Sarah: What should I do if he runs?
She opens the door to reveal Chuck, with flowers.
Graham: Kill him.
Chuck and Sarah are at a restaurant getting to know each other.
Chuck: So, yeah. I live with my sister and her boyfriend, Captain Awesome.
Sarah: No! (laughs)
Chuck: It's true, though.
Sarah: So, so wait. You call him Captain Awesome.
Chuck: Yeah. Wait 'til you meet him. Everything he does is awesome. Climbing mountains. Jumping out of planes. Flossing.
Sarah: (laughing) That's funny.
Chuck: Well, I'm, I'm a funny guy.
Sarah: Clearly. Which is good, 'cause I am not funny.
Chuck: Is that your big secret, by the way? 'Cause I've been sitting here trying to figure out what's wrong with you.
Sarah: Oh, plenty. Believe me.
Chuck: And I was thinking, either she's a cannibal or she's really not that funny. And I was pulling for cannibal 'cause I've never met one before.
Sarah: Ahh, not a cannibal. But I did just come out of a long relationship. So, I may come with baggage.
Chuck: Ahh, I can be your very own baggage handler.
Weird, uncomfortable silence.
Chuck: Ahh, so the guy, the ex! The guy. The ex is the reason you moved here from...
Sarah: Ahh, DC.
Sarah: Yep. After I realized that all of my friends were his friends and that everything about Washington reminded me of Bruce, I needed change. A big one.
Chuck: Bruce. Yeah. You give me crap for being Chuck and went out with a Bruce? That's nice! That's real good.
Sarah: So, so what about you? What skeletons do you have in your closet? Any secrets? Any women?
Chuck: Ahh, yeah. Yeah, uhh umm, actually well back in college there was someone. But actually that's all over with now and her restraining orders are very specific. So...
Sarah: I like you, Chuck.
Chuck and Sarah leave the restaurant and discuss music. As they walk along a highway overpass Chuck sees something and has another flash.
As Chuck and Sarah walk toward a club, Casey and other agents observe them from a vehicle.
Casey: Chuck Bartowski's your mark. NSA director wants him with a pulse. 'Til we find out who he's working with, what he knows, he lives. The CIA skirt, you can kill.
Inside the club, Sarah notices the agents and pulls Chuck out on the dance floor. As the two dance and with Chuck oblivious to what is going on around him, Sarah dispatches Casey's team with expert precision. She then rushes out of the club with Chuck in hand.
Outside of the club, Sarah rushes Chuck off into the Nerd Herd mobile. She picks the lock and then tells him to get in as the NSA agents fly around the corner in pursuit. What follows his a high speed chase with Casey's NSA team following Sarah's backward driving in the Nerd Herd mobile and a very confused Chuck in the passenger seat. Eventually the escape long enough for Sarah to detail some things.
Sarah: Listen to me, Chuck. Those men will hurt you. They're from the NSA and they're after you.
Chuck: Me? Why? Wait wait wait why me? I'm nobody. I'm, I'm the supervisor of a Nerd Herd in a Buy More. Maybe one day I'll be assistant store manager and I don't even know if I want that job. You know, that's not even your problem.
Chuck notices the SVU full of NSA agents coming right toward them at a high rate of speed.
Chuck: But that is.
The NSA agents crash into the Nerd Herd mobile. Chuck and Sarah try escape on foot but Chuck falls. The NSA agents maintain pursuit in their vehicle but Sarah disables it using her spy smarts and an emergency blockade.
Sarah requests an emergency extraction and takes Chuck up to the roof of a nearby building.
Sarah: How well do you know Bryce Larkin?
Chuck: Whu? How do you, how do you know Bryce?
Sarah: We worked together at the CIA.
Chuck: The what?! The CIA? Bryce is a spy? Bryce Larkin from Connecticut is a spy?
Sarah: A rogue spy. Did he try to contact you?
Chuck: I haven't heard from Bryce in the... wait, no, he... he, he sent me, he sent me an email.
Sarah: Did you open it?
Chuck: Yeah. It, it was a, it was a line from Zork.
Chuck: Ahh Zork. It's a, it's a video game that we used to play. It was like a riddle and I solved it and then there was ahh ahh pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.
Sarah: You saw them? (pause) Ahh, your computer, did you back it up? Is there an external drive?
Chuck: It crashed a week ago. Wait, wait, wait. Hold on a second. Was I not supposed to look at those pictures?
Sarah: Okay, I may have to aim my gun at you so just don't freak out.
Casey arrives on the roof.
Casey: It's late. I'm tired. Let's cut the crap and give it to me, now. It belongs to the NSA.
Sarah pulls out her gun and points it at Chuck. Chuck freaks out a little bit.
Sarah: CIA gets him first.
Casey points his weapon at Sarah.
Sarah: You come any closer and I shoot.
Chuck: Sarah. I'm freaking out.
Casey: You shoot him, I shoot you, I leave both your bodies here, go out for a late snack. I'm thinking maybe pancakes.
Chuck tries to run away but flashes. He then tells Casey and Sarah that there is going to be an assassination attempt on General Stanfield. He also reveals that he has been remembering things he shouldn't remember and then details secret information only the NSA and CIA could know.
Casey: He was working with Bryce.
Sarah: No, he opened Bryce's email. Chuck, those pictures that you saw were encoded with secrets. Government secrets. If you saw them, then you know them.
Chuck: There were thousands of them.
Casey: Wait a minute. You're telling me all of our secrets are in his head.
Sarah: Chuck is the computer.
Sarah then asks about Chuck's flash and where the bomb will be set off to kill the general. Chuck first resists and tells them to call Bryce.
Sarah: Bryce is dead. He died sending those secrets to you.
Chuck: Bryce is dead?
Casey, annoyed with another digression, fires his gun in the air.
Casey: Yeah, and he's gonna have a lot of company unless you start talking. So, pretty please, can we defuse the bomb now?
The general is giving a speech and Chuck, Sarah, and Casey race through a hotel to find him. Eventually they find the bomb and clear the room of its occupants. Sarah tries to get him to remember more details about the bomb but he's interrupted by Morgan calling.
Chuck: Hi, Morgan.
Morgan: Hey, how's it going?
Chuck: Little busy right now, buddy.
Morgan: Uhh, in a good way? Details!
Chuck: Why are you calling?
Morgan: I don't know, just laying on your bed. Ellie's with the Captain. My computer's got a case of the Demovas. So, I figured I'd check in.
Suddenly Chuck gets an idea and through some super techie brilliance downloads the Demova virus onto the computer attached to the bomb, defusing the device with less than a second to go.
Sarah: You did it.
Chuck: (Shocked) I did it. I did it. I, I defused a real bomb. [unintelligible hysterics] Wha, what if I was wrong?
Casey: Don't puke on the C4.
Casey and Sarah argue over who will get him. Casey wants to box him and extract the information out of him. Sarah wants to take a kinder gentler approach. Chuck points out that they need him and that he's going home.
Chuck is contemplating things on a beach and Sarah shows up. They talk about what's going to happen next.
Chuck: Yesterday I was making eleven bucks an hour fixing computers, now I have one in my brain. And I can't figure out why Bryce did this. Why he chose me. What are you going to do with me? What happens now?
Sarah: For now, you go back to your own life. We'll protect you and you'll work with us.
Essentially a montage of the conversation on the beach and Chuck returning home to an excited Ellie and Morgan as they want to know about his date. Also includes Sarah looking through romantic 2005 Cabo pictures on her phone of her and Bryce together.
Sarah: I need you to do one more thing for me.
Sarah: Trust me, Chuck.
Chuck fills out the assistant manager application form at the Buy More. Harry Tang tries to intimidate him. Chuck drops the form off with Big Mike.
Big Mike: Didn't think you'd apply.
Chuck: Well, ahh, I think I'm ready for this, Big Mike. And what it means. Responsibility, decisive leadership...
Big Mike: Save it for the interview. Now go train the new guy.
The new guy is revealed to be John Casey. Sarah is also in the store and Chuck flashes on her, revealing her to be a dangerous killer.
Chuck: (To himself) Don't freak out.
END OF EPISODE
This is one of the best pilot episodes ever made. It sets up the entire show, squeezing in tons of exposition without being dull or exhausting. It also defines the relationships between the characters well and essentially hangs onto those for most of the season, and into the next one. Not to mention that it shows off just how much chemistry matters to the success of certain shows. The cast seems like they've been together for years and the Chuck and Sarah dynamic works immediately. There isn't much to criticize. It should be noted that the editing is fantastic, especially when you consider that the pilot was shot with an entire other main character and story line (another romantic interest for Chuck), then cut out when producers realized it just didn't work.
What say you? Comment below. If you think something should be added, fixed, or whatever else you can come up with, note it and it may get edited into the article.
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