Chuck Versus the Role Models

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"Chuck Versus the Role Models"
Chuck episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 15
Directed by Fred Toye
Written by Phil Klemmer
Featured music "Comin' Home Baby!" by Mel Torme
"I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little More Baby" by Barry White
"La donna è mobile" by Giuseppe Verdi
"Sans Soleil" by Miike Snow
Production code 3X5815
Original air date May 3, 2010
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Chuck Versus the Honeymooners"
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"Chuck Versus the Tooth"
List of Chuck episodes

"Chuck Versus the Role Models" is episode 15 of the third season of Chuck. Chuck and Sarah are assigned to train under Craig and Laura Turner (Fred Willard and Swoosie Kurtz), a married CIA team who, despite their impeccable record, hate one another. The Turners' stormy relationship forces Chuck and Sarah to wonder if they're doomed with the same fate. Meanwhile, Casey must train the newest member of the team - Morgan.

Plot summary[edit]

Main plot[edit]

The episode begins with a dream by Morgan as he narrates his role with Chuck and Sarah in the CIA over an 1980s style montage. He awakens in the night and heads to the kitchen for a snack. Finding the refrigerator door open and thinking Chuck is behind it, Morgan is about to discuss his dream when he discovers Sarah is there in her lingerie. After a double entendre-laden conversation she goes back to bed. In the morning, Chuck and Sarah are briefed by Beckman in Castle, where she explains that they are to watch another CIA couple, Craig and Laura Turner, to learn how to operate effectively whilst together. Casey is tasked, to his disgust, with training their newest recruit, Morgan.

Back at the apartment, Chuck and Sarah welcome the Turners. Craig tells a story about a mission which irritates Laura when he mentions a Russian double-agent Craig had an affair with, and it is also revealed the Turners have divorced and remarried three times. Chuck and Sarah are then briefed on their assignment set for that night. They are to observe while Craig and Laura infiltrate the mansion of Otto von Vogel (Udo Kier) to recover a decryption key he has developed which can render any government security useless. Vogel is hosting a party that night, which he is using as a front to try and sell the device. The Turners are to access the master suite at Udo's home, where they will retrieve the decryption software and escape. The mission, however, does not go as planned. Craig is a philanderer and Laura is revealed to be an alcoholic, at which point the two get into a heated argument. With the Turners incapacitated and with their covers at risk, Chuck and Sarah step in to complete the mission themselves. They successfully access the master suite, only to confront Vogel's enormous pet tiger, Sasha. Chuck flashes and determines the software key is hidden on her collar. When the tiger falls asleep, Chuck steals the collar, and he and Sarah narrowly escape when Sasha awakens and gives chase. However, as they flee the party, they are intercepted by the Turners, who reveal their behavior during the party was a ruse and steal the software at gunpoint before fleeing.

Back at Castle, Beckman finds it hard to believe that two of the CIA's best agents went rogue and wants to know why. Sarah is determined to find the Turners, but Chuck is stressed over what the Turners' relationship means for their own, and about not knowing where to even begin their search. However, Sarah pieces together that they are staying at the Grand Ambassador hotel, the only place in Los Angeles where the rare Marasca cherry can be found, which Craig had mentioned when discussing his fondness for Manhattans. After locating the correct suite (the only room which ordered twelve Manhattans), Chuck and Sarah ambush and apprehend the Turners and bring them back to Chuck's apartment. The Turners each attempt to blame the other, but are shamed by Chuck into remembering they used to genuinely love each other before being disillusioned by their spy work with the CIA. Before any further action can be taken, Vogel arrives, locating them via a tracking device hidden in Sasha's collar.

Sarah takes the Turners and cuffs them to the bathroom tub while Chuck lets Vogel (and Sasha) in. While Vogel's goons use Sasha to search the apartment, he personally interrogates Chuck and Sarah. Sasha tracks the Turners to the bathroom, but when it is opened they are revealed to have escaped. As Sasha is removed from the apartment, Chuck attempts to convince Vogel that they have a common enemy in the Turners when they return, gun in hand, to stop Vogel. Meanwhile, Casey and Morgan arrive in the courtyard to find Sasha's handler had been disabled by the Turners, and come face to face with the tiger. Morgan offers himself up as a distraction, and when Sasha roars as she takes off after him, Vogel is distracted long enough for Chuck to flash and he and Sarah disable him and his men. With the threat eliminated, the Turners surrender.

Later at Castle, Beckman congratulates Team Bartowski on a successful mission before turning to the Turners to clarify their actions. Chuck stands up to speak on their behalf, but Sarah covers that the Turners did a triple cross to lure Vogel out to be captured. A satisfied Beckman accepts the alibi. However, the Turners announce that they are retiring from the CIA, with Chuck and Sarah as their hand-picked successors.

Chuck and Sarah[edit]

Chuck invites Sarah to move in with him, however she is initially opposed to taking that step and reminding him that they aren't a "normal couple" with a "normal life." They begin to argue about many small things, such as Sarah's emergency stash of weaponry hidden in the couch. Chuck is initially enthusiastic about training under the Turners, and when the elder couple later arrives at the apartment he happily tells Sarah that this will be them in 30 years.

After the Turners betray them, Chuck and Sarah worry that their relationship is doomed and that they will become traitors who hate each other as well. However, when Sarah asks Chuck if he really believes that, he acknowledges that he has faith in the strength of their relationship. Ultimately Sarah accepts Chuck's earlier proposal to move in, telling him that she is looking forward to living a "normal life" with him after their spy careers are over.

Ellie and Devon[edit]

Ellie and Devon arrive in the Democratic Republic of Congo as part of Doctors Without Borders, where they have just arrived at a new medical clinic. They become worried by the number of men with guns, but nevertheless find the clinic after Devon promises to cook dinner for Ellie. When night falls, Devon notices a snake slithering near Ellie and cautions her to remain calm as he goes for his knife. Before he can strike, one of the site's security supervisors, Justin, kills it first.

Ellie is stressed and frustrated by her inability to cope with the conditions, but with Justin's encouragement eventually learns to take things in stride and begins to thrive, putting her love of helping people over her own discomfort. However Devon apparently catches malaria and Ellie decides to bring him home. Justin arranges for their return to Burbank, and as their truck drives away he calls someone on a Ring phone, revealing that he purposely infected Devon with something that seemed like malaria and that Ellie doesn't suspect a thing.

Casey and Morgan[edit]

At the Buy More, Casey is ordered by General Beckman to train Morgan, who is concerned that Chuck and Sarah are going on exciting missions whilst he is stuck in the Buy More. Casey explains he is a liability until he has been properly trained, drawing parallels to the way Sarah and Chuck are treated initially by the Turners. Casey utilizes the Buy More as a training facility, including talking to an attractive girl in an effort to get her phone number and attempting to steal Big Mike's key card. Morgan fails spectacularly at both endeavors. When Casey offers to help track down the Turners, Beckman reminds him of his task. If he doesn't bring Morgan up to speed Beckman threatens to send them both off to boot camp at Camp Pendelton. However, although Morgan proves remarkably well-read on firearms through his experience playing Call of Duty, he is unable to actually fire a gun without it flying out of his hand.

Morgan laments that he has failed to be a spy, despite all the good he wants to do. Casey relates with how he was kicked out of the NSA and that Morgan was there to help him and now he wants to return the favor. Although Casey warns him that for his reputation not to make a show of it, he does acknowledge Morgan as a friend. Later as they return to the apartment complex they are confronted by Sasha. Recognizing that he has proven otherwise useless as a spy, Morgan uses himself as bait and traps the tiger into Devon and Ellie's vacant home, who quickly tears the place up. Later at Castle, Casey tells Morgan that he failed in all his exams but passed the test of courage, telling Morgan that only a "complete idiot" would go up against a tiger unarmed.


Production details[edit]

  • Morgan admits that he has made the "painful concession" of wearing pajamas, in reference to Ellie and Devon's discovery of his habit of sleeping nude in "Chuck Versus the Beefcake."
  • Chuck explains to Sarah that, as a Bartowski, he cleans to deal with stress, a reference to Ellie cleaning the apartment before having Devon's parents over for Thanksgiving in "Chuck Versus the Gravitron."


  • Chuck flashes on the collar on Otto's pet tiger Sasha, identifying that it contains the decryption software.
  • Chuck flashes on martial arts skills to subdue Otto and his henchman when confronted at his apartment.

References to popular culture[edit]

  • Mr. Turner's Berlin mission was Operation Mongoose. The real Operation Mongoose was the CIA's post Bay of Pigs covert operation.
  • Morgan's dream sequence is a direct parody of the title sequence of the television series Hart to Hart.
  • Morgan says that the bullets in his gun are full metal jacket which is a reference to the movie of the same name in which Adam Baldwin who plays Casey also stars.

External links[edit]