Chuck vs The First Class is a favorite of mine, and it really takes shape the different personalities to a “T.” Shaw will send Chuck on his first solo mission to retrieve a key. No Casey and No Sarah just Chuck. Shaw not only told Chuck the mission would be in Paris, but really the mission turned out to be a mid air with not one Ring agent, but two of them.
Chuck will be tested, and not just professionally. Along the way to Paris, he meets Hannah, who was instantly taken by Chuck’s charms. However, the boy wonder didn’t notice Hannah’s flirting. So, without further delay. Let’s take a first class trip into the fifth episode of season three.
The episode begins with Chuck asking Casey about Shaw. Casey would let Chuck know Shaw was a special agent of the CIA, which means he can pretty much do anything he wanted. It also means there was a review.
Chuck would ask what the review was about. Casey told him it was bout him. Chuck responded shouldn’t he just ask me, but Casey ever the sarcastic said, where would the fun be in that.
Meanwhile, Shaw was interviewing Sarah. He asked her was Chuck a liability. No sugar coding, he asked her based on the reports he read. As he said himself, sometimes Chuck was Bond and other times a Jerry Lewis film. Sarah would assure Shaw, Chuck was a spy, and he has made strides despite only joining the agency three years ago.
However, Sarah wasn’t speaking the truth compared to her expression. She was defending Chuck, but uncomfortable with the line of questioning. Shaw wanted to make sure his team was good enough to fight The Ring, but as I mentioned in Operation Awesome Shaw already knew everything about the team.
After speaking with Sarah, Shaw would call for a team meeting. While watching Shaw writing, Chuck became unsettled with the silence and started saying things like he knew things were said about him not being a traditional super spy, but before Chuck could go any further Shaw cut him off and said this was his meeting, and here is where I fell in love with the Shaw character.
He said, the problem with the team was not Chuck, it was Casey and Sarah. He thought they were holding Chuck back. Shaw believed Chuck could be a great spy, but they wouldn’t let him evolve.
Sarah certainly didn’t like this, and Chuck was all for what Shaw said. Chuck said Shaw was right, Let him out of the van. However, Casey and Sarah were not hearing this.
The bond between Shaw and Chuck was established here. Shaw showing faith in Chuck, while his team shake their head no. A small victory for Daniel.
Shaw would give his first orders as team leader. He was sending Chuck on his first solo mission. Sarah’s protest was quickly shot away from Shaw when he said. “Duly noted, and ignored.”
All Casey and Sarah could do was stand by and take orders from Shaw. He would ask Chuck to come with him for some training, and here is where Shaw manipulation of Chuck begins to take shape. It’s also what I love about Shaw.
Shaw isn’t in Burbank to make friends. He doesn’t even care if the team likes him. The job called for him to take down The Ring nothing more nothing less. He had an advantage in this battle with the rogue faction. He had the Human Intersect.
Shaw gave Chuck a KGB-Model Tranq Pen, and instructed Chuck to tranq Jeff. Chuck was hesitant, but Shaw assured Chuck Jeff could handle it. Training accomplished.
What would commence would be Shaw speaking to Chuck as equals for the first time. He said, “Your ready.” Chuck would reply with “after 20 seconds.” “No after 2 years.” He built up Chuck confidence with these following lines.
Chuck: I am? I’m ready after 20 seconds?
Shaw: After two years. I just wanted to talk to you privately, chuck. Listen, you’ve been on more missions than most spies have been in a lifetime. Trust me, you’re ready.
What Shaw said was simple and a bit of a ego boast, but he isn’t wrong. Chuck is forced to work more because of his secret. The Intersect is always in need. Thus, exposure of the last two years in Shaw’s eyes was sufficient enough, All he needed was proper training, which Chuck wouldn’t get sitting in a van.
While preparing for the mission, Sarah takes the opportunity to speak her mind. This would mark the first time Sarah showed any sense of ill will towards a mission. This is a woman, who loves adventure and missions, but she is pleading with Chuck not to go to Paris alone. and that is the key word alone.
Look at her expressions as she is talking. She isn’t concerned with the mission itself. She is concerned with not being able to help him. Casey also has the same sentiments. It’s why he called to ask on Chuck’s safety. Where is Shaw in all this. He is grilling Sarah about her loyalty towards the agency. He was searching for something he can use against her.
Let’s take a look at Sarah in these frames. it’s the first time in a long time, her none verbal communication is in sync with her verbal communication.
This scene will be recycled later in the series that will be a very different Sarah. This Sarah in this scene is my definition of Agent Walker. Despite Sarah’s plea, Shaw said “He’s going” an Beckman agreed with him.
Chuck said, he would see them later, and Sarah was not happy with this at all.
Part of the reason Sarah was having a hard time would be the mother in her. How many mothers struggle with letting their kids out into the real world. Sarah was kind of doing the same thing.
Think about this, she knows he has the Intersect 2.0. She seen him take on 5 or 6 guys at one time. He sure could handle himself. Especially the final scene. She closes her eyes with a plea to God, Please bring him home to me in one piece.
Chuck arrived on the plane, and his seat was next to this woman.
Chuck sits down next to Hannah, and they introduce each other. The two start predicting what each passenger does for living or do in their lives. They laugh and have a good time . Hannah is really taking o Chuck, but the nerd doesn’t pick up on any signals.
While Chuck and Hannah are mingling and drinking. The first of two ring agents make their presence felt. The man who portrayed Hugo Panzer is very familiar to me. He was my favorite wrestler growing up. Stone Cold Steve Austin played Hugo.
Hannah asked Chuck what he thought “Mr. Muscles” did for a living, and when Chuck turned around. Chuck flashed on the man. He excused himself and headed to the bathroom. Chuck called Castle. Shaw picked up the phone quickly, and asked Chuck if he flashed, yet.
I want to introduce a new way to point out different character traits within each characters. For example, Buffoon Chuck is the whiny down on himself Chuck or Chuck 2.0 when he does something that isn’t something normal Chuck would do. Another one is Agent Walker taking over and using the job as a way to shelter her true feelings.
The early part of season three really tells Sarah’s motives in this season when it came to Chuck’s desire to work by himself. He wants to be in the front lines with Sarah, Casey and Shaw. He wanted to get rid of the cover aspect of things, but mama bear wasn’t interested in that. Sarah’s protective side wouldn’t allow him to evolve.
While she was hearing Chuck flashed, Sarah turned on Mama bear mode when she was worried about her cub. Chuck in a mid air mission put Walker in defense mode and the scene that told me she was beside herself was this one
She is practically in tears. What’s worse Shaw rubbed it in her face with “Now we will know if your asset is a real spy.”
Shaw was right here. How were they going to know if he can work on his own if they coddled him. This was the part of Shaw that enjoyed the most. He then began his inquisition into Sarah.
He set her up nicely, when she said, he was a well kept secret. She gave him enough opportunity to question her. This is where it get’s interesting because we get Shaw’s motives here.
Shaw: And I have a few questions for you. Seven months ago, when chuck was in prague, you went off grid for three days.
This is a surveillance photo of a hotel in Lisbon. This is you.
Beckman ordered you to stay in contact, but you ran. Why?
Sarah: It’s not what you think.
Shaw: I don’t know what to think. Are you a Double Agent? A Ring Operative? Or is this about Chuck?
As I said, Shaw didn’t come to Burbank to make friends. He was learning about the commitment of the team. Chuck reported that he tranqed Hugo and went down to the cargo space to find the Ring agent’s luggage. He was able to locate Hugo’s package as a coffin. Chuck told the team about his findings. Shaw told him find the key and go back to his seat.
Shaw would continue his inquisition of Sarah going off grid. He would further tell her he pushed his assets to perform.
Sarah was right, Chuck wasn’t through yet. The Ring put a device on Hugo to monitor his heart rate. If the heart rate dropped below a certain number. The device shocked Hugo. He checked his jacket pocket and realized Chuck took his ticket. Hugo went searching for Bartowski down in the cargo.
While Chuck saw Hugo was in cargo with him, he immediately called Castle for some help, but Shaw told Sarah not to answer the phone. I would like to talk about this a little bit, and also will include a bit of a spoiler.
When Shaw told Sarah not to pick up the phone he said this,
Shaw: Go ahead, answer it. Just know that if you do, he’ll never be a real spy. And one day, that will get him killed.
Sarah’s reaction was classic. She knows Chuck could be in trouble, but the egocentric Shaw was trying to prove a point. Sarah could careless about what he said. Chuck’s safety was always Sarah’s priority.
Shaw does prove his point in season four, Let me explain, I apologize for the new fans of the show. Please don’t read the following if you don’t want to be spoiled.
In Season Four, Chuck vs The Fear of Death, Sarah called Chuck when he was about to arrest the The Belgian . Sarah was frantic on her way to help Chuck, but she didn’t get there in time. However, Sarah did received a very chilling phone call.
The Belgian: Pursue Agent Carmichael, and we will kill him.
The very words Shaw said came to life here. It’s very interesting how the writers set up future storylines.
While Chuck couldn’t get through to Castle, he goes into the coffin. Bartowski would call Casey, and we get the line of the episode from Casey here.
Casey: You act like your little girlish self.
You scream like a banshee, so he doesn’t think you’re a threat.
When he pulls you out, you find a weapon and then flash.
As Hugo opened the coffin, Chuck screamed like a little girl. Casey listening in screamed Chuck’s name. Casey immediately calls Sarah to let her know Chuck was taken. The mission takes off from here.
Shaw opens up a line into Chuck’s phone, Hugo was telling him about how his employer likes to keep his heart rate up. Hugo pulls out a giant knife and told Chuck he would make this quick and clean with no pain. Chuck was searching for a weapon he could use and stumbled upon fencing swords. Chuck took the sword and flashed.
Hugo said a funny line “What’s a matter with you, You know your going to die.” while the two were fencing, Chuck was slicing the mesh that was holding the luggage in place. When finally he was able to cut the last piece. The bags all fell on Hugo. Chuck tied him up and went back to his seat. Chuck reported to Castle he was fine and had the key.
Chuck returned to his seat and continued mingling with Hannah. They were talking about the Buymore and Morgan. Chuck would take a drink which he recalled he never ordered, and when he looked around he saw Hugo was free. He apparently poisoned Chuck’s drink.
Chuck would recuse himself to the bathroom, and called Castle to let them know he was posioned.
Shaw and Sarah told him to throw up, but Chuck claimed that was disguising. There was a knock at the door, and the stewardess was looking to see if Chuck needed assistance. When Chuck opened the door. The stewardess pointed a gun at his face. Ring agent number two.
Chuck not only had to perform a midair mission, but he was up against two ring agents. This made Sarah go into a tirade over Chuck being alone with insurmountable odds. However, the confident Shaw said, he wasn’t alone.
What Shaw used to help Chuck was one of the show best gadgets. Shaw explained, “Four years ago, we launched a satellite designed to take control of enemy fighters. Surprisingly, the thing actually works.”
It was pretty neat trick.
The Ring agent would make Chuck return to the cargo area, where Hugo was waiting. She threatened Chuck to give the key or he would die. Shaw called him, and wanted to talk to the ring agent. Shaw knew from previous dealings the Ring agent’s name was Serena. He said, he would let them go if they left the key and Chuck alone. She refused based on what Shaw knew, and said his agent was alone and was going to die.
Shaw said, his people where never alone. He gave Walker the order to fly the plane. Sarah started to tilt the plane enough to make Hugo and Serena get knocked around a bit. Meanwhile, Chuck was able to take the antidote, and grabbed his weapon.
He would ask Sarah to stable the plane, and she does. As Chuck flashed the last pieces of luggage and a baker’s rake crashed on Serena and Hugo knocking the Ring Operatives out for good. Chuck secured the key, but was sadden because he didn’t get use his nunchakus. While the mission was over, Shaw wasn’t through with Sarah and her off the grid detour to Lisbon.
When the mission was over and the plane returned to the hands of the pilots. Shaw turned to Sarah and made it clear on how he conducts business.
These are the reasons I love Shaw. His intentions are not hidden. He puts all his moves out there, and the fan may or may not like his approach, but its how a spy like him operates. Again, Shaw wasn’t there to make friends. He was making sure the whole team wasn’t compromised. He was going to get Chuck to perform as a spy.
Beckman gave up on Chuck in the pink slip. Shaw wasn’t going to go down that route. He heard Chuck and Sarah’s concerns with him performing on his first mission, but Bartowski came out of it fine. A small victory for Shaw, but there was still work to be done.
He gave Sarah the same treatment to extent. Why were you in Lisbon? He knew it was bothering Sarah, but he didn’t care. If she was compromised like Bryce was how could Shaw trust her to help him get Chuck on the path to become the weapon the CIA wanted him to be. How can he trust her to stop the Ring.
When she told him the truth about what she did in Lisbon. Shaw understood the emotions that come with loving someone within the business. Is he smug about sure, but what person in power isn’t smug. Shaw was playing the role of a leader, a spy and here is where Shaw lures Sarah in. It’s building trust, but a tainted trust as we will find out.
Hannah and Chuck were continuing their conversation, and as they landed in Paris. Hannah said she would love to show Chuck the Eiffel Tower, but as he said sure. Shaw called to tell Chuck to come home. Chuck would say goodbye to Hannah, and told her if she was ever in Burbank. He could get her job at the Buymore.
In Castle, Shaw congratulated Chuck on a successful mission, but the modesty in Chuck said, he wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for his team. When he said this, he looked at Sarah, and for the first time all episode Sarah smiled.
Chuck would give Shaw the key, which Shaw would use to open the lock box that was in the briefcase they secured with Carina.
Inside was intel about the ring, the intel came from a spy Shaw had inside the ring. The other thing in the briefcase was a envelope in which Shaw walked off. Sarah followed him into his office, and asked Shaw what was in the envelope.
It turned out to be a wedding ring. As I mentioned above, this move was a bonding moment between Shaw and Sarah. The connection was made both of them fell in love with spies.
The problem of course was Shaw’s idea of who Sarah loved was wrong. Sarah made it seem like Bryce was the one she was in love with, but we all know who Sarah was in love with. The man in the other room.
The hatred expression Sarah gave Shaw earlier had turned into wondering. Who really is Daniel Shaw.
it is safe to say Shaw was a master manipulator. He was working the team already. “We both made the same mistake Sarah, we fell for spies.” It’s a great line to use to create a common connect between him and Sarah. It’s an attempt to build a bond, but it won’t happen right away, but the trap was set.
The problem of course would be Hannah coming to Burbank. There was only one reason why Hannah came to Burbank. She had her eyes on being with Bartowski.
The Buymore story was a good one for this episode. Lester and crew where not happy Morgan fired him, and took action against him. They set him up by sticking him in the prize game and gluing him to his chair.
There was only one course of action for Morgan. He turned to John Casey to help him. It was a bonding moment between the two. As Casey saw the store’s mutiny against Morgan was something he didn’t like and with Chuck not around to help Morgan. Casey used tactics that made Lester and crew to back down.
Great episode for Casey and Morgan to develop a friendship.
Overall Thoughts on First Class
First Class was the start of the trapezoid. The connections were made and bonds were created. However, Hannah was the one that had real feelings invested. Shaw was working the team to get them to perform. It’s what he said he loved to do.
In order to get Chuck to perform as a weapon, he had to work all angles. It’s a challenge for Chuck because how far do you go before you lose yourself. How far are limits? Shaw will test those limits. Does he succeed?
Next episode would be a Shawless episode. Chuck vs The Nacho Sampler is one of my favorites. We will also dive into Sarah’s feelings on burning assets. Stay tuned…as we get a taste of Nacho Sampler.