Chuck Versus the First Date
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|"Chuck Versus the First Date"|
|Episode no.||Season 2
|Directed by||Jason Ensler|
|Written by||Josh Schwartz
|Featured music||"Hip to Be Square" by Huey Lewis and the News
"Returning to the Fold" by The Thermals
"Foux Du Fafa" by Flight of the Conchords
"Dropped" by Phantom Planet
"The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis and the News
"The Twist" by Frightened Rabbit
|Original air date||September 29, 2008|
"Chuck Versus the First Date" is the second season premiere of the action-comedy series Chuck. It first aired on September 29, 2008. Chuck's time as the Intersect is coming to a close as the CIA and NSA have completed construction of the new Intersect.
The episode begins as Chuck is being dangled out an open window by a formidable mercenary named Mr. Colt after attempting to recover a stolen piece of the Intersect called the Cipher. Before he can be dropped, Sarah and Casey arrive and force Colt to flee, leaving Chuck behind with the Cipher. Later, Diane Beckman and Langston Graham reveal the Cipher is the last part of the new Intersect, which is due to go online, freeing Chuck from his responsibilities as the Human Intersect. Now free to return to his life, Chuck begins making plans for his future, and his first goal is to ask Sarah out on a real date, which she accepts. Unknown to both, Casey's termination orders against Chuck are activated by their supervisors, though he is conflicted about the order.
Chuck and Sarah meet over dinner, while Casey prepares to deliver the Cipher to a government courier and motivate himself to carry out his execution of Chuck. However, when the courier arrives, he turns out to be an enemy agent, stealing the Cipher and blasting Casey with a toxic gas. Casey manages to administer an anti-toxin and sets off in pursuit. Meanwhile, Chuck and Sarah's date is going well, but as they are about to kiss, Chuck flashes on one of the patrons. He soon realizes that everyone at the restaurant is an enemy operative, led by Mr. Colt. Casey arrives and crashes his Crown Vic through the restaurant window and helps Chuck and Sarah escape, but not before Colt punches Casey. In the car, Casey informs Chuck and Sarah that the cipher was stolen again and Chuck had to remain the Intersect.
Later, Chuck flashes on the wound on Casey's face, left by Colt's ring. Chuck informs Casey that he has Colt's address, but Casey stalls, knowing that finding the cipher reactivates Chuck's elimination order. He asks Chuck "don't you want me here to catch you when you fall?" Chuck answers that he'd be happier if Casey was doing his job, and Chuck was out of the spy life, saying that he had a future. Casey warns him that the future doesn't always turn the way you expect it, but follows Chuck's intel and he and Sarah track Colt down to an apartment building, while Chuck returns to work at the Buy More.
Chuck receives a service call at the Nerd Herd desk, but on arrival discovers it is a trap set by Mr. Colt, who has determined that Chuck has to die, since Chuck can identify him. Casey and Sarah arrive at Colt's old hideout, and while Casey believes that Chuck was wrong, Sarah believes he's right but they were too late; this is confirmed when she has a bad feeling and learns that Chuck isn't at the Buy More. Chuck manages to bluff Colt into thinking they are surrounded using a Call of Duty battle plan developed by Morgan earlier in the day, "confirmed" by Morgan himself after Colt allows Chuck to make a call. While the mercenaries are distracted, Chuck steals the Cipher again and flees to the roof, where he is cornered again by Colt.
Sarah arrives and tries to force Colt to surrender, but he casually drops Chuck from the roof, and attacks Sarah, who is stunned and horrified when she sees Chuck fall. Unknown to either, Casey manages to catch Chuck as he falls, and arrives on the rooftop, interrupting the fight between Colt and Sarah. Colt's mercenaries then arrive and Casey is forced to surrender, only for Chuck to arrive with Casey and Sarah's fire team and apprehend the mercenaries. As Colt is being cuffed, he smiles and shows admiration for Chuck.
Chuck and Sarah decide to try to have their date again with a quiet evening at home, but while Chuck makes preparations Casey is once again ordered to execute him. He voices his objections and points out that Chuck has served with honor and shows promise as an analyst, but Beckman and Graham fear the Intersect data is too dangerous to be left in Chuck's head and insist Casey carry out his execution orders. Casey complies, and sneaks into Chuck's apartment through Chuck's bedroom window. Meanwhile, Graham leads a team of agents to the Intersect room to upload it into them, but as he activates the computer the message: "FULCRUM THANKS YOU" appears on the screen, and the entire chamber explodes violently, killing Graham and everyone in the room. Chuck answers the knock at his door and Sarah is there with the news the Intersect has been destroyed. Casey lowers his weapon and sneaks out of the apartment again.
Big Mike offers Chuck the assistant manager's position vacated by Harry Tang, but Chuck declines so he assigns Morgan to interview and choose from the candidates. Jeff, Lester and Anna all interview after Morgan also declines the position. When Chuck is called away for a mission, he leaves the task in Morgan's hands who decides the position with a "cage match" between Jeff and Lester in Buy More's storage cage. Lester wins, and becomes the store's new assistant manager.
Due to the 2007-2008 WGA strike, the first season of Chuck was cut short despite having received a full 22-episode pickup. As a result, the series' freshman season ended in January, 2008. However NBC was quick to renew the series for its second season. On August 27, 2008 it was announced that NBC had picked up the "back nine" of Chuck's second season, bringing it to a total of 22 episodes.
- Mark Christopher Lawrence, Vik Sahay, Scott Krinsky, Julia Ling and Ryan McPartlin were added to the opening credits.
- This episode was the final appearance as a recurring character by actor Tony Todd. Todd would later make a guest appearance in "Chuck Versus the Cougars", reprising Director Graham in a flashback scene. In a later interview Tony Todd explained when he joined the cast of 24, the demise of his character had to be hastened. Todd reprised his role as Graham in the season five episode "Chuck Versus The Baby". 
- Chuck flashes in the restaurant, revealing all the patrons are part of Mr. Colt's mercenary team.
- Chuck flashes on the impression left by Colt's ring on Casey's cheek, allowing him to identify the team and its Burbank-area hideout.
- Throughout the episode, Morgan constantly refers to Call of Duty.
- When Morgan describes his plan for the Compound level on Call of Duty, he describes have enough ammunition to orbit Arnold Schwarzenegger. This references Die Hard where McLane uses the same metaphor to describe the ordinance that Hans and his team have.
- It is stated that Lester has his own Wikipedia entry.
- The morning after the cipher is stolen, Chuck awakes to 'the power of love'. This is the theme song from Back to the Future.
- There are two Huey Lewis and The News songs in this episode. The first one being "Hip To Be Square", the second being "The power of love", both songs play via Chuck's alarm clock.
- Lester and Jeff's cage match is a reference to the Australian film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, where the main character, Max Rockatansky, fights an opponent in a dimly lit cage called the "Thunderdome." Both characters are suspended from the ceiling by elastic bands, and the onlookers have scaled the sides of the cage to watch and cheer.
- Development Update: August 27, 2008: http://www.tvweek.com/news/2008/08/nbc_goes_all_the_way_with_chuc.php
- Casting Update: June 9, 2008: "Chuck" cameos to include stars of Green Mile and Night Court
- Den of Geek Interview