Chuck vs The Nemesis
We have come to the tenth episode of Season one, which means we have reached the final four episodes of the first season. I can’t believe it. Time truly goes by fast when having fun.
Chuck vs The Nemesis is a special episode and has reached the top 20 of my personal list of episodes. All the things we discussed in The Truth about The Imported Ex Nemesis will come full circle in this episode. The theme of Chuck vs The Nemesis is letting go of the past. Both Chuck and Sarah need it to survive this major revelation. Bryce Larkin is not dead, and both Sarah and Chuck have a hard time coming to grips with it.
Nemesis offered the first real baddie of the series, The award for the first great bad guy goes to Tommy. I wrote about Tommy in our new series titled The Impact Players.
Tommy offers a brief look into what life would be like for Chuck. He was the first agent looking for Intersect and traced the program back to the Buymore. He believed Larkin had the program, and was dead sent on getting it back for Fulcrum.
Tommy would force Team Bartowski and Bryce to forget the past and work together.
Forgetting the past would be tested in the relationship of Chuck and Sarah, and this would be the part of the episode which I will spend the most time on. The test of what the heart longs for. An agent still struggling feelings for her ex boyfriend because she never had that closure, but the acceptances of him being dead and moving on would send her through a whirlwind of emotions.
For Chuck, its time to relive his past and embrace it. He can’t hide from it anymore.
It was somewhat easy when you have Sarah Walker by his side, and with Bryce gone, Bryce couldn’t drop earth shattering bombs on Chuck’s life, but the package put Chuck’s life into perspective.
Its why this particular arc was set up to make Chuck come out with a better perspective on his life and the role a CIA agent has to work with.
Bryce didn’t turn on the CIA, Chuck or Sarah for the purpose of being rogue or becoming a nemesis. He did what he had to in order to protect the Intersect from getting in Fulcrum hands. He got Chuck kicked out of school because he didn’t want his friend to be a field operative, but when faced with the question of trust. Bryce didn’t trust anyone inside the agency. He trusted Chuck.
How is Sarah suppose to understand that? Chuck veterans know the lengths to which Sarah wants to be involved in her boyfriends’ adventures. We witnessed first hand in Hard Salami what she was willing to do to be close to her “cover” boyfriend. so, let’s dive right in to Nemesis and see the challenges that awaits our favorite heroes.
The question of love will be on display in this episode, as Chuck was salivating in the kiss, meanwhile Casey and Sarah were dealing with the bomb that was revealed. Both Casey and Sarah were having a hard time with seeing Bryce alive.
Watching Sarah stare into the window, almost pale like a ghost as she was watching Larkin being worked on by doctors. Bryce mumbled something to the doctor, he requested they bring Chuck to the facility.
When Sarah arrived at the Buymore, she was deflated. The kiss was one thing, but with Bryce back, it would put the kiss to the backburner for the moment.
Chuck was happy to see Sarah, and while Chuck was talking about the kiss, Sarah was struggling with finding the words to tell Chuck his former nemesis was asking for him. How does one do that?
Chuck: I don’t I don’t want to play beckman here, but if you don’t start answering my calls, then super secret spy resource chuck bartowski does kind of go to waste.
Sarah: Did you flash on something;
Chuck: No. No, i was I was calling about other stuff.
You didn’t happen to listen to my messages?
Sarah: Chuck, we have to talk.
Sarah: Wait. Chuck: – Can i say something first? Sarah: No.
Chuck: It’s the kiss, right? It is. It’s got to be the kiss.
First of all, i know that the moment was very life-or-deathish.
And, normally, I would run from a situation like that.
You, on the other hand You, um YouYou kissed me, which was just But the thing The thing is that i’d like to talk about, is i’d like to invite you to thanksgiving dinner, but we need a cover for that, so really, what i’m trying to ask you is, uh Are we back together?
Sarah: Chuck, bryce is alive.
Sarah did what she could. The news was not going to sit well with Bartowski, it wasn’t sitting well with her either, but questions needed to be answered, and Chuck may be the person who get the answers.
At the facility, Chuck was confused about what he was seeing. They went to Bryce’s funeral, how could he still be alive. Sarah and Casey said Bryce only wanted to talk to Chuck, which set Chuck off, and to be honest it didn’t seem prudent to use Chuck in this instant. I understand Bryce made it clear about wanting Chuck, but Chuck’s hatred for him would seem a bit compromised.
When Chuck entered the room, Bryce took one look at him and made Chuck speak klingon to identify himself as the real Chuck Bartowski. Klingon would come up again in the episode.
It also showed the nerd side of Bryce, which establishes the Alma Mater, when Bryce and Chuck were close friends. It made it easier to see the closeness the two had at Stanford, if they were able to understand Klingon. Nerd code if you will.
Chuck got right to business. He asked all the important questions. Why Bryce sent him the Intersect, but Bryce didn’t’ answer, Bryce was being very cautious in how he responded. He then lured Chuck in to whisper in his ear, but it was a trick. Bryce used Chuck as a shield and in came Casey and Sarah.
Bryce seeing Sarah in Burbank was a bit of a shock for him. He didn’t expect to see his ex pointing a gun at him, and when he saw Casey. He would ask if he wanted to try again.
great first 10 minutes of the episode, but we are not done yet. We haven’t even got to the opening theme of the show.
Bryce would take Chuck with him to the elevator, and when the doors closed. Bryce let Chuck go, and said “You knew I wouldn’t do it, right?” Again Chuck pleaded with Bryce to stand down, but as Chuck was talking Bryce could sense the elevator was slowing down, and when the doors opened. There stood Tommy.
and here is where I will introduce a new concept I am adding to the rewatch articles and all future episode articles, The line of the episode will be the line I enjoyed the most.
and this week’s goes to Tommy,
Tommy: I wouldn’t want you to kill some random person.
I’d feel just terrible.
Byrce:Tell your people that i’m gone.
Tommy:This is your chance, bryce.
This is me being reasonable.
Let’s be friends again.
Its a great line and why I called Tommy an impact player because he was able to do this to Bryce.
He put fear into him when Bryce saw him. As Tommy was looking forward into chasing Bryce, Larkin would tell Chuck to tell Sarah it hard to say goodbye. The phrase must be some code word or something, but more on that later. Bryce would then inject Chuck with the needle he was using to hold Bartowski hostage.
Back at the apartment complex, Chuck and Sarah are walking to the courtyard where Sarah and Chuck converse about Bryce. Sarah figured Bryce was long gone by now, and the agency would assign other people to search for Larkin.
Sarah really was in no mood to discuss covers or relationships at that point, but Chuck kept poking at it with a needle, and things were getting complex between the two until Ellie showed up, and pretty much forced Sarah into coming to Turkey Day.
Here is where tension will reach its peak, and the theme of the arc comes intuition. Chuck and Sarah must face the past before moving on. It started at Thanksgiving. Chuck forgot the marshmallows in the car, and met Bryce in the courtyard.
While it seemed Bryce was a bit standoffish, and obviously ignoring Chuck’s inquiry about the mindset of Bryce sending him a program that changed his life.
All Bryce was interesting in was asking Sarah to help him fight off Fulcrum, but there was something else behind Bryce’s intentions and for the first time during this rewatch, I will voice my disdain for Sarah here.
We know what happened, Chuck told Sarah that Bryce was waiting for her in his bedroom, and Sarah still not knowing Bryce’s intentions herself went into the room gingerly.
This would be the first time Sarah and Bryce would have one on one time. No Chuck or Casey to interfere and we get something that bothered me about the scene.
I understand the power Bryce had over Sarah. She seem to melt in his presence, but when Bryce made his move on her she should of stopped him, and you can feel for Chuck because in his mind Bryce was going to steal the girl from him again. It is very hard for Bartowski to move on when he was reliving the past with that kiss Bryce planted on Sarah.
While outside Sarah asked Chuck how did Casey find out about about Bryce, and quickly realized Chuck saw Bryce kiss her, and a disheartened Chuck knew in his heart he was going to lose to Bryce again, but before Chuck could wallow in his misery.
They saw someone was in Casey’s apartment, and Sarah knew who it was instantly. She took off her shoes and crept into the apartment. Bryce was working on Casey’s computer.
Bryce told them he was not rogue. He said the intersect was a mission. furthermore, he said he was recruited by Fulcrum until he realized it was an internal strike against the agency. He said he never wanted to hurt Sarah.
Sarah asked “Why Chuck?” Bryce would say the only person he could trust was someone outside the agency. Bryce said he needed someone who wasn’t a spy, new Fulcrum or Operation Sand Wall. As Bryce said Sand Wall, Chuck flashed on the mission. It all but confirmed Bryce was innocent. As Bryce was able to convince Sarah and Chuck, Casey walked into the apartment and without hesitation open fired on Bryce again.
It reiterates the theme of the episode of reliving the past. While Chuck saw Bryce kiss Sarah to relive Stanford, Casey shooting Bryce was reliving the past for Sarah. This time in person.
Bryce was wearing a bulletproof vest, and woke up from the shot. He would explain to the team how Tommy and Fulcrum kept him alive because they believe he had the Intersect inside of him. Bryce would further say he wanted to turn himself in to the agency.
Chuck came up with a plan that would help with the transfer. The pick up would take place at the Buymore and would be able to walk passed them, and see if he flashed on the agents and if he didn’t flash then things would be clear.
Which would lead to Sarah and Bryce walking into the Buymore. While they were waiting Morgan walked into Bryce and thought he was Bryce, but Larkin played it off.
The agent came into the store, and Chuck walked passed them flash free. The agents, Bryce and Sarah leave the Buymore for the extraction point. We come to the next scene I will spend time on for a little bit. To understand Sarah, we get a good take from Bryce when asking about the status between them.
He would say she wasn’t very good at expressing herself, which would be a character flaw of Sarah Walker. Before Sarah and Bryce can dig deeper into the topic, a van came crashing into the car.
Back at the Buymore, Tommy appeared at the Nerd Herd Desk, and threatened Chuck. He said he was looking for the Intersect and what proceed was a fun sequence of events. I would rather show you the video of the word that could never be spoken “Pineapple.”
Bryce and Sarah made the save, and then we come to the Song of the episode as Bryce was saying his goodbyes, Band of Horses No ones gonna love you played.
The song would play until the end of the episode when Sarah was ready to leave with Bryce, but just as Bryce was calling her. Chuck was calling Sarah as well leave her with a tough decision. A decision she would have to make.
If Sarah truly wanted the normal life as she proclaimed she wanted than decisions like this one would be a lesson on what normal life is like.
Overall Thoughts on the Episode
The message of this episode was one the entire arc was based on. The concept of moving on from the past had to take part on both Chuck and Sarah. Bryce was a big part of that, and they were able to withstand the test.
While the next episode is the final chapter to this arc, Charah have learned they were ready to move on from the past, and start anew with each other.
The next episode is Chuck vs The Crown Vic. See you then.