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Chuck Recap: Season Two, Episode Five, "Chuck vs. Tom Sawyer"

Chuck Rundown: Episode Five, "Chuck vs. Tom Sawyer"

Wow, this week's episode of Chuck was one geek-iriffic hour. At one point, I asked my boyfriend, "Is Missile Command a real game?" He responded by burying his head in his hands (and bringing up a Wikipedia entry about kill screens). So maybe this one tested the outer limits of my geek cred; I think it's a tribute to Chuck that it didn't matter one bit. To talk about it, just


Of all the Buy More folks who have gotten a spotlight episode of Chuck, Jeff is definitely my favorite. Who knew he was once a mulleted videogame champ, surrounded by beautiful women (were they part of the prize package?) and with "so many tasty options" for the rest of his life. Of course, 20 years later, the not-so-tasty option he's taken is the one where he's a Nerd Herder with a stalkerish fondness for Anna. Buy More: where ambition goes to die.

Jeff's not the No. 1 person I'd choose to be in control of the fate of the world, but that's exactly what happens. Embedded within every game of Missile Command are the codes for controlling a satellite that could launch World War III — and nobody, not even Jeff, has gotten that far in the game. Chuck's mission, then, is to bond socially with Jeff ("Great, so it comes down to either torturing him or torturing me") and convince him to make a Missile Command comeback. Fueled by red cough syrup, M&Ms (but no brown ones), and Anna dressed as a hula girl, he decides to do it . . . until the pressure of being on stage surrounded by his paunchy, nerdy, very single fans gets to him and he passes out cold.

Not to despair: Chuck takes the controls, realizes that the rhythm of the game matches that of Rush's "Tom Sawyer", and plays all the way to the kill screen, getting the satellite code, averting mass global destruction, and becoming a geek hero. Chuck saves world! I loved the scene of him standing by the game console, beaming, as he gets applause from a room full of nerds who knew they'd just witnessed greatness — but didn't realize just how great it was. And there's another triumph to come: Sarah and Casey arrange for Chuck to receive a Stanford diploma. A college graduate and savior of the world? Everything really is coming up Bartowski.

Some other thoughts:

  • For all the drama, this episode is also truly funny, from Awesome telling Chuck his special smoothie "does wonders for your wang energy" to Chuck getting out of a trip to Jeff's place by claiming an allergy to "every member of the polecat family."
  • Tony Hale's here! He's Emmett, the new Buy More assistant manager, and he clearly has it out for Chuck. Loved him reporting a "lewd use of a musical montage."
  • Jeff has drinking pants! And a "My name is Jeff and I'm lost" card.
  • Lester and Morgan are hilarious as they mourn the potential loss of their best friends. Chuck would never really reject a guy who owns a smoke machine and was a roadie for Mamma Mia! though.
  • Casey looks super awkward in his version of the Buy More uniform; Sarah just looks hot.
  • Nice random Zune diss! "No, I'm kidding. I'll get my iPod."
  • The episode ends on something of a wistful note, with Chuck making a wish on a burning-up satellite and Jeff approaching the Missile Command console, quarter in hand.

Are you looking forward to more Tony Hale? Surprised by anything in Jeff's past? Happy to learn that Chuck's middle name is Irving? Discuss!

Photos courtesy of NBC

Join The Conversation
whatevahs whatevahs 8 years
It was a great show, but I wouldn't worry about losing geek cred. Chuck is a show about geeks written from a jock perspective. There are no geek in-jokes, and geeks are still portrayed as being inferior to "normal people" (with the exception of Chuck, who isn't really a geek so much as a smart guy that's had a bad run of luck- and, let's face it, works at a buy-more and is "totally lucky" to have this hot fake-girlfriend). I like Chuck- but it's definitely not a show for geeks or that celebrates the virtues of being a geek. There's great writing, and it's a good show- but as a geek I sometimes groan when watching it because in many ways it's just an adult version of high-school mockery. It's not mean-spirited really though, so it's not too offensive.
ualili ualili 8 years
My favorite part of this totally great episode was when the song "Tom Sawyer" started playing and the camera pans to the crowd and shows the guy with the Rush shirt on looking confused. It pans back to him a moment later and he has this huge, idiot smile on his face as he realizes what Chuck is doing. OMG, my DH and I kept rewinding it back to that moment just to laugh!
Allyace Allyace 8 years
This episode was fun :). I really liked the Zune/iPod moment b/c it was so random and funny. "Dude, you have a Zune??" hehe
spacebear spacebear 8 years
hooray he got a degree!
nonmr nonmr 8 years
Loved this episode! Yay for Buster, er, I mean Tony Hale haha! Loved all his scenes especially the interview w/ comments scenes. Casey really looked awkward wearing the Nerd Herd outfit; Sarah looked fabulous wearing whatever she wears. The Anna Wu musical montage was funny and creepy. Also, the Zune diss was unexpected but it was a major burn! Lastly, Captain Awesome's lines about wang energy and his reaction to whether Chuck's on drugs never fails to make me laugh =)
sunny1intucson sunny1intucson 8 years
Loved it! This is my fave weekly treat right now. I watch this live and flip to other shows during commercials and/or catch them later online.
bethinabox bethinabox 8 years
"You have a ZUNE?" "Nah, I'm just kidding, I'll go get my iPod." That was probably my favorite part of the episode, hehehe. I love this show more and more each time I see it!
sexymotherfakir sexymotherfakir 8 years
This might have been my favorite episode of Chuck so far, or at the very least my favorite episode of Chuck in recent memory. Season one was oh so very long ago. And while it's to be expected that all Schwartz shows have great soundtracks, I love how Chuck does it with older songs. From all the late 90's music from last week to Rush this week. I'm bummed about no Chuck or My Own Worst Enemy next week. Less bummed about no Heroes next week.
ragincajun67 ragincajun67 8 years
And how about Chuck and Casey in matching white shirts & ties? Nerdelicious--they also looked like the hottest Mormons ever. Does anyone else think Sarah & Casey are both significantly thinner this season?
smileet147 smileet147 8 years
This episode was serious HILARIOUS. I love when Tony Hale wrote "Prostitute" for Anna after she hit on him in binary code. Also I want a "My Name is Jeff and I'm Lost" shirt, button, sticker, anything! Only maybe with my own name would be better!
littlebmac littlebmac 8 years
Did you know that Tony Hale was also on Samantha Who last night? He was a doctor for Samanatha (Christina Applegate's role) and he tries to help her recover some of her memories, and he has a big crush on her!
littlebmac littlebmac 8 years
Wow! There is so much good stuff to this show and it just keeps getting better. I think that it was great to highlight Jeff in this eps, an otherwise background guy and show that the geek population is alive and well. I had to laugh when I read Buzz's comment about asking her man if Missile Command was a real game. I totally asked my guy too who confessed that he used to play it all of the time. BTW, isn't Sarah character looking hotter than ever! Seriously, I want to know what her workout is because she is as tone and stylish as ever. Chuck and Morgan's interaction about Morgan having a smoke machine and being a AV roadie for Mama Mia for four summers was hilarious. Love the show and can't wait for next eps. Everyone should be watching this! I DVR How I Met Your Mother and Gossip Girl to watch my Chuck.
TheEnchantedOne TheEnchantedOne 8 years
It was so nice to know that Jeff had a "past". Who would've thought that at one point in his life, he was cheered on by many and was some sort of a video game legend? And here we were thinking he's just been creepy (and lethargic) all his life (and that CV he submitted episodes ago didn't help to improve his image one bit!). Emmett had me laughing with his evaluation of the Buy More staff. His findings cracked me up! Especially Anna's! Haha. "Prostitute?" Btw, the Anna montage was so funny. And er creepy at the same time. Lol. I have to admit that I sang along with Air Supply's All Out of Love. Haha. Oh yeah, Jeff's card was very funny. Now we know this is like a routine for him.. getting drunk and waking up at places that are never his house. And that was so sweet of Sarah and Casey with the diploma. Now, that put an end to Ellie and Awesome's theory that he's on drugs. Lol.
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
Dude I love Tom Sawyer. Rush is my guilty pleasure haha. I love how Jeff had his random stuff he needed, like the specific game he actually played on. and i LOVE Jeffs drinking pants. My dad had a pair of pants like that and we only recently were able to pry them away from him haha And how awesome that Chuck got his degree!??!!?!? I'm so happy for him. i'm not looking forward to next week, I don't like chuck with anyone but sarah!! but maybe casey needs a girlfriend. I'd love to meet that guy in real life, wonder what he's like
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