Chuck vs The Suburbs
Suburbs is a top 20 episode on my list of great episodes. Jenny McCarthy and Andy Richter stop by for their only appearances on Chuck. The mission will call for Chuck and Sarah to move to the suburbs. The cover for this mission called for Chuck and Sarah to play husband and wife while searching for a Fulcrum terrorist.
What the mission will provide is a look into what it would be like as a real couple for them. Some great moments in this episode regarding Chuck and Sarah. So, Let’s get started.
The episode begins with a agent being tested, and as the test was being conducted, the agents eyes began to twitch as the images came on the screen. The episode would shift to the Buymore, and Chuck was standing looking over the televisions, and basically he was standing in a trance. Chuck didn’t notice Sarah walking towards him. Walker would ask him if everything was alright? Chuck said he was, but since it was Valentine’s Day, Emmett was playing romance movies non–stop. He suggested that Emmett must enjoy Must Love Dogs as that was the feature mostly played.
I absolutely love this scene. Guys and Gals, Sarah was asking Chuck out here. She didn’t come to the Buymore looking for a cover date. She was looking to spend time with Chuck on Valentine’s Day. Sarah: Well, I was just wondering about tonight.
Chuck: Oh, is there a mission tonight?
Sarah: Actually, I was referring to the whole Valentine’s Day thing.
Here is the first indication that Sarah isn’t there because of the cover. Look at her expression as she said it, she has eagerness behind those eyes. Sarah didn’t bring up the job as reason for it either. Let’s take a look at some of the evidence to prove my point.
If you notice Sarah expression drastically changes once she realized Chuck had no plans. It never dawned on her that the usually romantic Chuck wouldn’t have planned something for them. This is the guy who warm hearted her with a gift on Christmas. In the comment section below I would like to read your opinion.
It gets awkward some more,
Chuck: Oh, my gosh, right. I’m so sorry did you want to do something?
Sarah: No, no, I was just curious. Unless you wanted to do something?
Chuck: Doesn’t it seem like we ought to do something? I mean, it’s up to you.
Sarah: Yeah, sure. Okay, I mean, we have been cover dating for over a year now, right?
Chuck: Yeah, I mean, it would be weird if we didn’t do something.
Sarah: Completely weird.
Chuck: Maybe we could give our covers the night off.
Sarah: I have a bunch of paperwork to catch up on anyway.
When I first saw this scene, I didn’t mind what was going on. The cover was often used and it only seem fitting until I saw this expression. Sarah was hoping Chuck wasn’t serious about not spending time with her, and lucky for her Morgan showed up to wish the two a Happy Valentine’s Day. He would ask the two if they had any plans and of course they had to protect the cover.
It shows you the lack of communication the two would display. Sarah could of just said, “I would like to spend the night with you.” However, she assumed Bartowski would of set something up. It gets even more awkward from here.
While Chuck and Sarah have a memorable episode, the Buymore side of things all goes to Big Mike in this one.
We will discuss what happens with Big Mike later, we shall continue with the main story. The episode would shift to Chuck’s apartment where we see Chuck and Sarah on opposite sides of the couch. Chuck was playing video games. Sarah on the other hand doesn’t look thrilled how the evening was transpiring
Sarah is obviously annoyed that Chuck isn’t paying attention to her. Thus, from this screen cap and the one before. Chuck has thrown her throw a loop in understanding what’s going on, and for the first time they communicate.
Sarah: This is the worst Valentine’s Day ever, right?
Chuck: Come on, don’t be silly.
Sarah: Please, you’re not going to offend me.
Chuck: There’s got to be someone somewhere having a far worse Valentine’s Day.
Beckman informed Casey about an agent named Jim Yeager, who was working undercover trying to infiltrate a potential terrorist cell. The agent would be the man who was being tested at the top of the episode. Apparently, the test they ran burnt Agent Yeager to a crisp, but the agent did reveal an important word Salamander, which will resurface later in the episode.
Beckman: Our best guess: he chose this location for its proximity to a sleeper cell. I need for someone to resume Yeager’s assignment, identify his contact and infiltrate their terrorist network.
Casey: I don’t know how well I’d fit in with those people, General.
Beckman: Not you, Major Casey. We need a normal couple.
Casey would text the chosen ones, and both jumped at the opportunity at a mission. Chuck and Sarah came out to a waiting Casey, and the major told them they would need to drop their cover dating for this assignment.
After the credits, Chuck was preparing for his mission. While he was packing Ellie walked in and became super excited upon the news about Chuck and Sarah doing a dry run at her boss’s home. A weekend to see what it would be like. However, Chuck was quick to tell her that was the wedding talking.
He drove to the mission site to the music of Talking Heads’s Once in a Lifetime
Chuck saw Sarah making potato salad. He would ask her was she cooking for everyone, and said “No Chuck, you are.” Sarah would pick up a tray of hot dogs and hamburgers and handed it to him. This was really a weird scene, and actually gave me goose bumps.
Brad White saw Chuck and wave to him in greetings. Sarah reminded him that one of the neighbors was a suspected terrorist. Suddenly out of nowhere, Casey dressed as a cable guy furthered Sarah’s order by telling him, you heard the lady get out there and mingle.
As Chuck begins to cook, Brad introduced him to the rest of neighbors After the meet and greet, Brad saw Sarah, and asked who was she. Chuck said that was his wife. What is amazing about the scene is how uncomfortable Chuck was with meeting these people. It also showed how inexperience Chuck was in these kind of missions. I was beginning to see Chuck was struggling with separating the mission with reality.
Brad: Hold on a minute. Who is that talking to my wife?
Chuck: Oh, that’s-that’s my wife. That’s Sarah.
Brad: Well Well done, Charlie. You want to trade sometime? I’m kidding
Chuck’s reaction to Brad and his tease was not a good start for Chuck, but he will redeem himself.
Chuck clearly is uncomfortable in these surroundings. A bit out of his element, but what I did not notice before was the often let’s be professional Agent Walker was being human. She flashed a smile back at Chuck. Sarah was assuming the role of Chuck, whereas Chuck was the reserved one like Sarah usually was. Something she normally didn’t do. Has the cover gotten to Sarah too? Let’s find out.
While Sarah was mingling with the neighbors, Chuck distance himself from the crowd. I found it to be peculiar because Chuck was labeled a social butterfly by Casey one time. He had an opportunity to talk with the people, but something tells me Chuck isn’t comfortable with parties. As in the Pilot, Chuck was a reluctant dance partner for that occasion as well.
While Chuck was getting bored, he glanced at his watch. Suddenly, a woman appears in the doorway of the house, and its Jenny McCarthy, portraying Sylvia Arculin, spoke ” My sentiments exactly. Can I let you in on little a secret about your neighbors, They bore me.”
While Sylvia was working her magic on him, Chuck became disheveled as the rather blunt older woman was hitting on him. Chuck failing to remember he was on mission lost his cool with the advances. What’s even more interesting was Sarah seeing Chuck talking with Sylvia. Sylvia would extend Carmichael a invitation to come over once the honeymoon was over for some fun. Chuck would walk away and meet up with Sarah. Chuck went over the mission by saying he didn’t flash on anyone.
Casey would stick his head out of the window and told them there was some trouble with their cable. When inside Casey informed his team about bugs around the house. Chuck flashed on the bug, and it apparently belonged to Fulcrum. Chuck would inform them the bug belong to the CIA in back in 2006. Fulcrum had stole it from a famous operation Bryce mentioned in Nemesis, which was Operation Omaha.
The scene would become a bit creepy as Casey began saying “I knew these people creeped me out.” All the neighbors would come into view of the kitchen window. A scene straight out of the Children of the Corn.
The episode would then have one the series best scenes. A iconic one because of the nature of the relationship. One that could be scored as a compromising situation. Chuck comes walking downstairs, and when he walks into the kitchen he finds Sarah cooking. Chuck walked into the kitchen wondering why Sarah would be preparing breakfast, and thought she was doing it for the neighbors. Walker would tell him the house was clean, and she was cooking breakfast for him. I could understand why Chuck lost himself in his cover.
The woman he clearly is in love with was cooking for him, and smiling about it She wasn’t holding back. Sarah clearly was falling into her new cover. Something of a dream come true. Think of this Chuckaholics, Casey swept the house, and it was clean. This gave Sarah an opportunity to be herself. Chuck was rather pleased to see this side of Sarah and also because she was enjoying herself. While Sarah was preparing his plate, Chuck made some comments worth talking about.
Chuck knows Sarah has to be tough. Her Job requires that much, but Chuck is not an idiot. He has seen many times where the girl inside Sarah wants to burst out. He makes it a point to tell her about it.
The dream continues as Chuck walks out of his cover house with coffee and briefcase in hand. He picks up the morning paper and heads for his car. Sarah comes running out and hands Chuck a list of groceries. Everything was perfect. Oh! so he thought.
When Chuck gets to the Buymore, he has a goofy looking face, which was quickly wiped away when Casey saw it.
While Chuck and Sarah were playing house, Casey was doing some intel search, and discovered that the one responsible for all of this was the cougar’s husband Cliff, and here is where it gets dicey for Chuck. It also was discovered the husband bought enough Intranet data cable wire to stretch from the store to Gardena.
His objective was going to change, which meant he would have to go and act on the cougar lady’s advances. Chuck wasn’t down with this at all. In fact, he said this “Look, I just don’t know how Sarah’s going to feel about this. There’s no way she’s going to let her husband just sleep with Is he ready?” I don’t know what compromised sounds like, but Chuck certainly has forgotten what an agent sometimes has to do in order to achieve a mission, but Sarah came into the room and echoed what Casey said.
Sarah: Chuck, look, I’m sorry, but this is our best option.
Casey: Target’s got the house rigged with state-of-the-art security. And since his wife’s expressed a romantic interest in you We need you to exploit it.
Casey: Oh, exploit it.
Over the course of the next few weeks, I will begin to point out the good and the bad of Team Bartowski, and in particular Casey and Sarah’s dealings with training Chuck. The goal was to make Chuck into a spy, and in this episode we saw Casey and Sarah teaching Chuck the measure in which an agent must achieve in order to accomplish the mission.
Since his handlers couldn’t infiltrate the security system, the next course of action was send Bartowski in. Do they want to not really. The risk of putting the intersect in a house unprotected isn’t the best option, but its plan D or E, but there is an interesting point I am making here. The tone and voice choice was not of scolding or doing what your told attitude. It sounded more like a down low option. (More on that in a minute)
What I also found interesting is the reaction Sarah gives after this comment.
Sarah: Look, we understand if this makes you uncomfortable.
Chuck: Breaking my fake wedding vows? No, forget about it.
It’s hard to tell, but Sarah’s lips here reminds me of another time when she squeezed her lips. The circumstances are different, but the balance between duty and the chance at being married fake or not is on the mind. The battle of whats real and whats not is always in the forefront between Chuck and Sarah.The lip clutching is something Sarah does when she is hiding her feelings on something. When she is torn between expressing herself verbally or to remain silent. I digressed.
Chuck went over to Sylvia’s house, and he had a very smooth line here.
Sylvia: If you don’t mind me asking, when was the last time you and your wife made love?
It’s not a normal question a woman would ask a man. So, one would think Sarah’s agent skills were triggering, but then again Sarah’s reaction was quite similar to the one she made in the Truth when Devon was hackling Chuck about making love.
Chuck would be handcuffed to the bed, and as the situation intensified , he asked Sylvia for an adult beverage in order to get through this easier, she went to fetch a drink. Chuck immediately informed Casey about his situation. Casey would tell Chuck to break his thumbs. Something Chuck wasn’t willing to do.
Chuck would search the room looking for a way out of this, and he spotted keys on the nightstand. He used his foot to fling them to him, and he unlocked the cuffs. He went running into the next room, and saw a computer. while he was looking at the computer, Cliff came rushing home. He practically ran into the house, which was a cause for concern from Chuck’s handlers. Chuck would realize the computer was password protected. He looked around the desk for a clue, and found a salamander. The same word Agent Yeager was uttering earlier in the episode.Chuck typed in the word Salamander into the computer, and what would transpire would be quite similar to what Chuck went through when Bryce sent him the Intersect except the images were rather darker with a red light. The red light must indicate the program was from the villains from a production point of view.Chuck would have the same reaction the day he uploaded the Intersect Bryce sent him when he dropped to the floor. He was knocked out for a few moments. Sylvia and her husband came up the stairs, Sarah and Casey both were trying to reach Chuck, but when Chuck was not responding. Casey said he would go in after Chuck, but before he did Chuck woke up and went running along the roof of Sylvia’s pad, ran across the street in his boxers. All the neighbors saw. When Chuck came home Sarah came running out and did this,
This mission became a cluster you know what, Chuck was exposed to the community and downloaded a program from Sylvia’s computer system. Remember when I suggested sending Chuck over to Sylvia’s pad was done by secret? Well, it has to do with Beckman’s reaction to the news.
The general was fuming over how the team handle this. Casey apologized for pooching the mission, but Chuck was quick to defend the decision when he told Beckman about what he saw on the computer, but the general was irate on how the team went against orders and ignored Chuck’s concern.
It’s scenes like this I get frustrated with the command and his team. Chuck has been the Intersect for a year now, and it should be taken in account what he saw was the same as the one he downloaded in the Pilot, but because the team sees Chuck as a bumbling idiot, they miss the spy growth in this experience.
However, they will learn quickly that Chuck has the way with all to turn an ugly situation into a positive outcome. Beckman would send Casey and Sarah back to the house to continue their probe.
However, what the team and Beckman don’t know was Sylvia and crew now know that Chuck was the test subject they were looking for because when Chuck escaped. Sylvia and her husband saw that Chuck uploaded the test, which also means they know it’s a set up from a Fulcrum standpoint. They didn’t hesitate to strike once Casey and Sarah returned to the site.
Meanwhile, Chuck was searching through his locker when the grocery list Sarah gave him fell to the floor. The benefits of what Chuck downloaded came into play as he flashed on the words Meadow Branch. He would learn that the community was a front for Fulcrum.
Brad approached Casey in his cable truck, and took out Casey with a taser.Casey down meant Sarah was all alone. No back up, and Fulcrum was able to overpower Sarah as well. Chuck tried to provide some help, but Brad cut him off and tasered Chuck as well. Next time Chuck don’t turn your back on your enemy.
Chuck confirms his fears of the neighbors being Fulcrum when he flashed on all of them. when Chuck woke up, he was strapped to a chair with a head device. Brad was attaching equipment to Chuck. Sylvia also was providing assistance.
Chuck was looking for Sarah, but Sylvia was quick to remind him who she really was.
Chuck: Sarah? Where’s Sarah? Sarah? Where’s Sarah? Where’s my wife?
Fulcrum really were an evil organization here, as they force Sarah to watch what was going to happen to Chuck Evil by the very sense of its meaning.Further Sylvia continue her quest in destroying whatever hopes Sarah and Chuck had in being together.
Sylvia: This place isn’t real.
Her feelings for you aren’t real.
This next part should help you get over her.
Sarah is in a tough situation. She is completely helpless in attempting to protect Chuck. Sylvia’s husband is preparing the program, the band of scientists leave Chuck and go in the control room where Sarah was waiting. Walker screamed out Chuck’s name, but Sylvia told her he couldn’t hear her.
Meanwhile, Casey was handcuff in another room. He followed his own advice and broke his thumbs, and started to trace the intranet cabling to find where it leads.
What Chuck download was a small sample compared to what happened to him here, and it would freeze up Chuck again. After the program finished Brad, Sylvia and the rest of them came back into the testing room with Sarah. They initially thought Chuck was fried because he didn’t respond, but after a few minutes Chuck came out of his trance.
While Fulcrum was excited about how the test worked, Sarah was not sure what was going on, but remember when i mentioned Chuck has the ability to think on the fly. He saw Casey had creeped into control room. He also saw Casey was rebooting the program. So, he took this as an opportunity to create a diversion. A spy like decision.
He acted like he was brainwashed, and said, ” Before you run the test, I’d like to tell Agent Walker something.” Chuck hints to Sarah to look behind him, and she sees Casey in the control room, but still confused on what Chuck plans to do. He leans forward, and this to me is another iconic scene.
While Sarah is always the one saving Chuck, this time Chuck has to do the saving. He tells her close your eyes, and pulls her head into his chest. As Casey pressed enter, the program was destroying the Fulcrum agents around Chuck and Sarah, but Chuck made sure Sarah was protected. A great scene.
The scene also demonstrates the very nature of what Chuck is about, The fact that the Fulcrum agent couldn’t handle the program, but Chuck could speaks volumes. Its the foundation of the series. There was no guarantee Bryce wouldn’t suffer the same faith if he uploaded the program. This won’t be the last time I discuss this matter. Keep it in your mind what I just pointed out in future episode articles.
There was one expression Sarah made that is worth spending time on. Now without spoiling anything, we are coming up to the infamous Day 564, and this will be discussed in next few weeks, but here is a question I have. When did Sarah realize she didn’t want Chuck to become a spy. The expression she makes after going through her ordeal, did Sarah wonder if Chuck should be a spy here? She has first hand experience on what his life would be like? is it fair to say, this was the episode that made Sarah realize the dangers that would face Chuck? Tell me your thoughts on this.
Casey stook around to clean up the rest of the mess. He told the clean up crew to take all the bodies and prisoners except for Brad. He wasn’t done with that guy. At Castle, Beckman made it clear and marks the build of whats to come.
Beckman: Besides testing on humans, it appears that FULCRUM is perilously close to completing their own Intersect computer, making Bartowski more important than ever.
His life has never been in more danger.
The honeymoon is over, Agent Walker.
Beckman put it in perspective, and the harsh reality. Fulcrum is dangerous, and Beckman needs her team to be prepared for war. The advantage Beckman has in defeating them is the Intersect, but Chuck is even more vital now because he has two intersects in his head. A great build up for the season’s last arc, which begins in Beefcake.
What happens next is kind of like a back to reality moment. Sarah comes up from Castle to a waiting Chuck, and they have words. Well, Sarah returns to Agent Walker mode.
Sarah: Chuck, we can’t go back there. it was just a cover.
Chuck: Yeah, I know that, I just thought that
Sarah: Casey and I have to shut down the operation.
Can we talk later?
The nasty word cover came back into play here, and what makes it worse is Sarah comes off a bit cold in this scene. Chuck didn’t miss the signals here, but with Sylvia’s words still fresh in his head. When he returns home, Ellie asked how did it go. Chuck sounds beat, but ready to accept nothing was going to happen between him and Sarah. He was alright with that, but Ellie will stick her nose where it doesn’t belong in the next episode.
The episode ends with a great song played by Cassettes Won’t Listen, Freeze and Explode
Big Mike and his New Girlfriend
The Buymore story was fun in this episode, we got to see Emmett Milbarge where a toupee which Big Mike points out.
Chuck would find out why Big Mike was angry. Mrs. Big Mike decided to end their marriage on Valentine’s Day. Mike proclaimed all of his energies will be towards working, which frightened Jeffster, Morgan and even Milbarge.
The four would come together to help Big Mike stay face, and introduce him to someone, who would be willing to suck the desire to work out of him.
Morgan and crew put Mike on an online dating service. Big Mike protested saying this wasn’t the way a man should meet a woman. He was old school and believe meeting someone in person was how it use to be. Not hiding behind a screen. As Morgan was going through the profiles.
Big Mike would see one profile, and became excited in meeting her. They went on a date and Big Mike would return to the Buymore claiming he wasn’t happy he lied to her, so he invited her to the Buymore in what would be epic discover. His date had a son who worked at the Buymore.
It turned out that Morgan was Bolonia’s son . A great story mixed in with the main one.
Overall Thoughts on Suburbs
As I wrote in the introduction, this is a very important episode. It’s the start of the season end arc, and because of President Obama’s speech pre empting Best Friend, this episode would of made a lot of sense if this episode aired before Beefcake.
As it would continued nicely with the remaining episodes. We learn a lot in this episode. How special Chuck is with his ability to upload an intersect program. What Sarah and Chuck would look like if they were a real couple living in the suburbs.
While on the surface it was not a complete failure. It was an educational tool. Chuck’s nerdy nature makes him uncomfortable in that setting. As he was in the pilot when his sister and Devon threw him a birthday party. Where as Sarah was out and mingling with the neighbor
We also saw Chuck’s unwillingness to cheat on Sarah despite the cover being a fake marriage. A great episode indeed.
We follow this episode up with a new comer to the series in the form of Jonathan Cake, as he makes his debut as Cole Barker.
Cole Barker is a character I do enjoy. He actually unwilling helps Sarah and Chuck in their respective dreams. More on that as we go on.
The next episode is Chuck vs The Beefcake.
As always Chuckaholics is your toy, so play and remember it’s hard to say goodbye because we didn’t.