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Chuck Recap: Episode 11, "Chuck vs. Santa Claus"

Chuck Rundown: Episode 11, "Chuck vs. Santa Claus"

If you were thinking the Christmas installment of Chuck would be goofy and funny and light, you probably had another think coming by about the halfway point of this week's episode. When a car crashes into the Buy More, it first appears that the Nerd Herders — and last-minute shoppers like Ellie and Awesome — are just being held hostage by a rather incompetent criminal. But the whole incident soon takes a more sinister turn, so if you're ready to talk about it, just


The missions on Chuck rarely feel all that tense to me; Chuck's name is the title of the show, so how much danger could he actually be in? But in this episode, everything feels like it's up in the air. No, Chuck probably isn't going to die, but he might really be taken to a detention facility staffed by evil Fulcrum agents. Or Ellie or Awesome could be hurt. Or even Sarah or Casey could go down.

Things really start to go poorly when Sarah and Casey break into the Buy More. They only have two choices: be their civilian selves, or blow Chuck's cover and end up with a whole bunch of new people to protect. They choose the civilian route, and then some quirky coincidences (Sarah being Chuck's "girlfriend," Casey getting his toe shot off) lead to their release while Chuck's still inside.

Of course, those aren't coincidences at all but evil actions Fulcrum takes to get Chuck alone. It's fascinating to see the tone switch from "hey, weird holiday shopping crime!" to "OMG, they know everything about Chuck, and they're totally after him." And just minutes after cautioning Awesome not to be a hero, Chuck decides to be one himself, telling the agent that the Intersect is in his brain. How heartbreaking is the look on Chuck's face when he hugs Ellie good-bye, knowing that in all likelihood, he's seeing her for the last time?

Casey and Sarah aren't going to give up that easily, though, and they do manage to spring Chuck free. But Chuck's never been good at doing what he's told, and so instead of running back to the Castle and being reunited with his family, he lurks in the background of the tree lot — and ends up seeing Sarah shoot the agent dead. I don't know if Chuck could hear their conversation, but either way, he's now seen Sarah at her most ruthless, and — like Morgan seeing Anna kiss Lester, but worse — that image is never going to leave his mind.

Some other thoughts:

  • This episode isn't all sad and somber. In fact, the stuff with Awesome and the Buy More crew (in elf uniforms!) staging a coup that instantly fails until Morgan pops up with a fake snowblower is pretty hysterical.
  • Emmett and Big Mike drive the same car! And have matching coffee thermoses!
  • Anna loves Lester! For like a second, until he does something gross that I don't even want to know the details of, but still.
  • How sad was it to see Sarah standing there while everyone's calling their loved ones, with nobody to call herself?
  • General Beckman to Casey: "It's an electronics store, major, not Basra. Get it under control." Also, when I first saw Casey with the armload of wrapping paper, I hoped it was because he was secretly really into Christmas.

Guys, we have to wait till February for more Chuck! Granted, it's going to be the big 3-D episode (get your glasses now!), but seriously, after an episode like this, I'll really miss this show. What did you all think?

Photos courtesy of NBC

Join The Conversation
reesiekitty reesiekitty 8 years
Wow, I am just loving this show more and more. We hadn't had a chance to watch for a few weeks so we TIVO'd and watched 3 weeks' worth last night! I just love Chuck's sister and Captain Awesome and the whole relationship he has with them. I like how Sara and even Casey and others from the Buy-More can't help being pulled in by their generosity and kindness- they just are both really awesome :) I think Morgan totally had it coming with Anna- he acted like a selfish child and how he'll pay for it unless he mans up! I hope that Chuck's reaction to Sara shooting the Fulcrum agent is just a sort of shock-reaction- he's flashed on her killing other agents, etc., mentally he KNOWS that is part of her job- but there's a difference between that and actually watching someone stand face to face and kill another person. Then she came into the Buy-More and lied about it ( understandable, but still weird from Chuck's perspective) and was all fake-perky, like everything was great. I do hope he cuts her slack though, because she was just protecting him and he needs to realize that the spy-stuff is not all wacky fun and crime solving for Sara and Casey. Really really wanted to see Casey as an elf. But the paper cuts and the fact that he's been assigned to 'wrapping station' were great.
Nitachequita Nitachequita 8 years
Thanks, I know the Fulcrum Agent/Michael Rooker because of the Replacement Killers (what can I say, I love Chow Yun Fat)... I'm trying to figure out the guy working with the Fulcrum Agent. ARGH!
ekdkdk1 ekdkdk1 8 years
JessNess, Jammi (and everyone else)thanks for you input, I guess from Chuck's perspective Sarah killing the agent looked completely unjustified. Then her lying didn't help anything, I mean what would it have taken for her to tell him what was going to happen if she hadn't done it? perfcangel--the Fulcrum agent was also from Sliver (which I only saw because of my husband, who also happened to be the one to point out that is what he was from) And, he also immediately recognized the Die Hard dude!
perfcangel perfcangel 8 years
@Nitachequita: The Fulcrum agent was the dad in Mallrats! The minute I saw him, I thought, he's gotta be a baddie.
spacebear spacebear 8 years
chuck has been awesome this season. and this ep *may* have been the best so far! can't wait til february.
piksie007 piksie007 8 years
definitely sure that chuck didn't hear the fulcrum agent threatening sarah...he thinks that the man surrendered and she still shot him. FEBRUARY??? GAHHH i will die w/o my weekly dose of chuck bartowski & co. =(
nonmr nonmr 8 years
It was way different and shocking for Chuck to see Sarah actually killing someone. In the 1st and 2nd episodes of Season 1, he already "flashed" (when he saw Sarah's ring) that she killed French assassins so for Chuck, it's a whole new yet weirder experience to see his pretend girlfriend kill someone whom he saw was already cooperating and about to surrender. But like what the people above have said, if he actually heard what Sarah and the Fulcrum agent talked about, it might have made a little difference. Raves: - Morgan and the rest of the Buy More staff in elf costumes. How cool and cute was it to see Chuck's little bearded friend as an elf? - Casey's fingers wrapped in something as if he's a gamer. For a second I thought he was playing video games with Chuck but when he said he was in charge in the gift-wrapping section, I laughed. - Big Mike and Big Al hugging it out during the last few scenes. - Big Mike and Emmett's matching cars and thermoses. They're like two peas in a pod; so cute! - Chuck calling Sarah when everyone else at the store were calling their loved ones. It was a little coincidental but it was sweet. - Casey calling his mom, Lester calling phone service and Jeff calling his Mom in prison; for me, the funniest scenes of the episode! - Morgan and Chuck in the end scenes where Morgan asks Chuck if there's something that your girlfriend did that's so horrifying that it won't leave your mind. (I'm not sure if those were the exact words but it was something to that effect) Rants: - Lester kissing Anna. Poor Morgan! - It'll be a lot more awkward and weirder for Chuck after seeing Sarah kill someone in cold blood. - I was really, really expecting Casey in an elf costume. Come on, I've already seen him in numerous wigs this season so an elf costume wouldn't hurt, right? - I'll have to wait 'til Feb for new episodes =(
bethinabox bethinabox 8 years
I really liked this episode of Chuck! Definitely one of my favorites. So much good stuff. Also, 3D episode? I have heard nothing about this! That's pretty cool!
Phasekitty Phasekitty 8 years
It was fine until Sarah lied about it. I know Chuck was pretty mortified by what happened, but she could have explained to him what he knew and how it could have gotten out. It's not like Chuck is so naive to think that she's never killed anyone before. But the fact that she lied about it made everything go from bad to worse.
Jammi Jammi 8 years
"Did anyone else find it a little strange that Chuck was so upset about Sarah killing that guy. I mean was he under the impression that she never did that kind of thing? I am a little worried they are going to make that relationship even weirder because of that." I think he was upset because all he saw was the guy being 'cooperative' and telling her to 'arrest' him as if he wouldn't have put up a fight so to Chuck's mind she killed him for no reason. He didn't have a weapon, he wasn't struggling, and once he was detained he wouldn't have been an issue anymore. Of course, we know better but Chuck doesn't.
JessNess JessNess 8 years
ekdkdk1- I think Chuck is upset because from his perspective he saw a man surrender and Sarah shooting him coldblooded. If he heard that conversation he probably would feel different. Its one thing to kill someone when you are defending yourself but completely other to do it when they are surrendering. Its not really killing its more execution
JessNess JessNess 8 years
When I saw Big Mike's cousin I seriously yelled out Carl Winslow!!! This episode was really good even if the lack of the usual funny. It will be interesting to see Chuck's understanding of Sarah after all this and maybe come to the realization of what her job really means.
Phasekitty Phasekitty 8 years
Buzz, I can't believe you didn't mention how awesome it was to see Carl Winslow as Big Mike's big cousin! And he was reprising his Die Hard role!
Allyace Allyace 8 years
Yeah, I'm with you ekdkdk1 it seemed odd for him to be so upset when he knows that she has probably killed people before just for being in the CIA's way... I do not want to wait until February for more Chuck and Casey! Boo.
ekdkdk1 ekdkdk1 8 years
Did anyone else find it a little strange that Chuck was so upset about Sarah killing that guy. I mean was he under the impression that she never did that kind of thing? I am a little worried they are going to make that relationship even weirder because of that. I too loved that he told Awesome not to be Awesome. Poor Morgan, that was so sad when he saw Lester kissing Anna. I can't wait for February! I love me some Chuck.
Nitachequita Nitachequita 8 years
February, really? Noooooooo! I loved that Casey called his mom. And when Sarah said she was scared because she had never been that close to a gun before, hee hee. It is killing me trying to remember where I've seen the gunman before, however.
Entertainment Entertainment 8 years
Oh yes, he definitely told awesome not to "be Awesome" which ... is just amazing.
kscincotta kscincotta 8 years
The hubs and I particularly liked the casting of Big Mike's cousin Big Al. That gave us the giggles all night. And I'm pretty sure that Chuck didn't tell Awesome not to be hero. I think he told him not to be Awesome, which is even better. Loved this ep overall, but I was really disappointed that I didn't get to see Casey in an elf costume.
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