Chuck Versus the Helicopter
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|"Chuck Versus the Helicopter"|
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Robert Duncan McNeill|
|Written by||Josh Schwartz
|Featured music||"Challengers" by The New Pornographers
"Don't Make Me A Target" by Spoon
"Gone Daddy Gone" by Gnarls Barkley
"Lust for Life" by Iggy Pop
|Original air date||October 1, 2007|
"Chuck Versus the Helicopter" is the second episode of the television series Chuck. It aired on October 1, 2007. Chuck is meeting with a government specialist connected with developing the Intersect to determine if the secrets can be removed from Chuck's head, but suddenly finds himself unsure which of his handlers to trust.
The episode begins with Chuck offering the viewers a recap of the events that have put him in his current position, while helping Casey chase down a shoplifter. As part of their covers, Casey is now working at the Buy More as a "Green Shirt," while Sarah poses as his girlfriend and working at the "Wienerlicious" across the parking lot from the Buy More. After helping Casey apprehend the shoplifter (and ensuring Casey doesn't beat the kid) Sarah reassures Chuck there is a plan to remove the secrets from his head. The two plan a second "date" that night to discuss it. Later while getting ready, Ellie complains that Morgan has met Sarah, but she has not, so plans dinner for them all the following evening.
The team meets with the specialist, Dr. Jonas Zarnow, at the Buy More. Chuck is confined to the Home Theater room. Sarah explains that this is for both Chuck and Zarnow's safety and Chuck is referred to as "Patient X". Zarnow administers his tests from outside and confirms Chuck's possession of the Intersect data. He also states he believes he can help them remove the data and allow Chuck to return to his normal life. Sarah delivers the news after dropping off Chuck at home, although Chuck is disappointed because it means he won't see Sarah again. Unknown to either of them, Zarnow's car explodes on a remote road after departing.
Chuck goes to work the next morning while Casey and Sarah investigate the site of the bombing. Casey is suspicious of Sarah, who finds Zarnow's phone and secretly pockets it, and he reports to Beckman that the explosion looks like a CIA job. Back at the store, Casey warns Chuck not to trust Sarah. He ditches Casey with Morgan during a training session and sees her anyway. Sarah shows him the phone and Chuck flashes, identifying it as an NSA Incinerator. She in turn warns him not to trust Casey. When Chuck returns from his meeting Casey confronts Sarah at the Wienerlicious and the two fight, but are interrupted by patrons and Casey escapes. Chuck is called away from the store for a Linux install but the job was a fake called in by Casey.
Chuck attempts to flee in the Herder but Casey drives him off the road and forces him into his own car. However another Incinerator in Casey's car forces them both to flee, as it now appears Sarah is out to kill them both. Chuck realizes that if she intends to "clean up" the operation, she may target his family next. He ditches Casey and hurries home to find Sarah and Morgan there for dinner with Ellie and Devon. Casey arrives shortly after bearing quiche and Chuck claims to have invited him. Sarah angrily confronts him for not trusting her, and leaves after Chuck tells her that Casey did not kill Dr. Zarnow. Chuck follows but she orders him to remain behind, before she's shot with a tranquilizer dart and thrown into the back of a car. Chuck and Casey round the corner in time to see Zarnow, who shoots Casey with a dart and drives off with Sarah.
Chuck convinces Casey to help rescue Sarah, as it was their own distrust that got her captured in the first place. Casey turns on the Herder's GPS tracker to follow the tracking bugs he hid in his quiche, however a false trail leads them to Morgan (who also ate the quiche) and allows Zarnow to escape. Chuck correctly deduces the doctor's best means of escape is a small airport nearby, and the two hurry to catch him. Casey orders Chuck to stay in the car but when he spots Zarnow leaving one of the warehouses, Chuck sneaks in and finds Sarah, bound and gagged. As he helps Sarah try to escape, they hear Zarnow coming back. Chuck quickly puts the tape back on Sarah's mouth and hides. Zarnow tells Sarah that the chopper is ready and he is taking her to be tortured unless she tells him who Patient X is. Sarah doesn't respond and Zarnow prepares to inject her with a tranquilizer. However Chuck panics, alerting Zarnow to his presence, and unintentionally reveals to Zarnow that he is Patient X. Zarnow tranquilizes him.
Chuck wakes up in the chopper as the dart hit his badge. He accidentally shoots the pilot and knocks Zarnow unconscious. Sarah helps Chuck land by telling him to pretend it's a flight simulator game, but after he lands, she yells at him about how he nearly blew the mission by not trusting her.
They both attend Bryce's funeral, but Sarah leaves before Chuck can talk to her. Beckman is not pleased but accepts the situation and tells Casey that the new Intersect will be online in six months, at which point she orders him to "do what you do best" to Chuck.
At the Wienerlicious Chuck apologizes for his behavior, before bringing his family in for lunch.
This episode introduces some of the show's first real "spy gadgets:" the NSA Incinerator, the Herder's secret modifications, and Casey's miniature tracking bugs hidden in his quiches. This is also the first use of Casey's "I don't kid about..." one-liners, and the first appearance of the "Stay in the car" joke. The Wienerlicious is introduced, as is Chuck's intolerance towards pain in general and needles in particular.
Captain Awesome's first name is revealed to be Devon.
The location for filming the Buy More scenes was changed in this episode, so there were slight difference in the store's layout between the pilot and this episode. However the Nerd Herd desk remains in roughly the same location. The Home Theater room appears for the first time.
- During Dr. Zarnow's tests Chuck flashes on a series of pictures, confirming he possesses the Intersect data.
- Chuck identifies the NSA Incinerator after a flash.
- Chuck learns that Sarah poisoned a ring of French assassins posing as diplomats when he flashes on the name Elana Truffaut.
- Chuck flashes on Zarnow, and learns that he was sharing American science with North Korea for years.
References to popular culture
- Tony Todd (Graham), John Flek (Zarnow), and Robert Duncan McNeill (director) all had previous connections to Star Trek. Todd played numerous roles including Worf's brother Kurn, Flek appeared on Star Trek: Enterprise and McNeill played Tom Paris on Star Trek Voyager.
- While being examined by Dr. Zarnow, Chuck flashes on a photo with encoded intel saying that Oceanic Flight 815 was shot down by a missile. This is the name of the flight which crashed on Lost.
- Opening scene with Chuck running after a shoplifter to the tune of Lust for Life is a reference to the beginning of Trainspotting.
The A.V. Club gave the episode a C- grade, stating "Last week I wrote that the makers of Chuck needed to decide whether this is a funny spy show or a comedy with the occasional car chase. Based on 'Chuck Vs. The Helicopter', they seemed to have chosen the former. But I'd guess that people who liked the pilot might be confused or bored by this episode".
- Hyden, Steven (2007-10-01). "Chuck Vs. The Helicopter". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- "Chuck Versus the Helicopter" at the Internet Movie Database
- "Chuck Versus the Helicopter" at TV.com