|Season 1, Episode 1|
|Air Date||September 24, 2007|
|Writer||Josh Schwartz & Chris Fedak|
|Next||"Chuck Versus the Helicopter"|
- "Mr. Bomb, meet Mr. Internet."
- ― Chuck as he looks up a virus-riddled porn site, hoping it would crash the system and thus disarm the bomb
- "He's searching for porn..."
- ― Casey as Chuck begins doing so
The episode originally aired on September 24, 2007.
Chuck receives an email from Bryce - his old college roommate and friend who is now (unbeknownst to him) a rogue government agent. The email contains government secrets which are subconsciously transmitted into his brain. The CIA and the NSA both want to get this data back, and send their top agents Sarah Walker and John Casey to retrieve it.
Full Plot Edit
Two characters are carrying out a covert operation until there is a knock on the door, which causes one of them to exclaim, "We've been compromised, I'm a ghost.", leaving the other to plead "No, Morgan, don't do this, you can't leave me like this". When the lights come on, it is revealed that the apparent mission was escaping from Chuck's own birthday party, where he feels that he does not fit in, given that Ellie invited all her friends, who are doctors. Ellie explains that she brought "real live women" for him, and makes him go down to his birthday party, telling Morgan to stay in Chuck's room.
Downstairs at the birthday, Devon points Chuck towards some "likely candidates and they are awesome". Through the fragments of small talk Chuck reveals that he works for the Nerd Herd of a Buy More, has no idea what he wants to do ("Working on a five-year plan - just need to choose a font") and that he hasn't had a girlfriend since he was kicked out of Stanford, the last being Jill.
The girl asks about a "great guy" she knew at Stanford who was a gymnast and ran track, Chuck states that it was Bryce Larkin who was his roommate at Stanford and that he thinks he is now an accountant.The scene changes and a person falls from the ceiling of a room, a caption explains that this is "Bryce Larkin" and clarifies matters with the text "(not an accountant)". Bryce proceeds to move towards a computer in the room and connects it to his handheld computer; the screen prompt explains that this larger unit is the "Intersect Computer". As soon as Bryce begins the data transfer the alarms are triggered and people outside the room yell at Larkin to open the door. When the transfer is completed he affixes an explosive to the Intersect and begins running towards the door; the blast that destroys the Intersect propels Larkin through the door knocking down those on the other side. Bryce proceeds to fight his way out of the building, pausing momentarily to open the email feature on his handheld computer. He eventually makes it to the roof and climbs down to the ground, and he's looking at his handheld moving away from the building when he is shot in the chest by John Casey. Bryce tells Casey that it is too late and the screen of his handheld shows that he has emailed "Chuck".
Chuck goes back to his room, and he and Morgan are playing Gears of War when Morgan notices Chuck has received an email from Bryce. When opened it repeats a line from the first encounter of the text-based computer fantasy game Zork. Chuck explains to Morgan that he and Bryce Larkin programmed their own version of Zork back at Stanford, Morgan exclaims "Wow, you guys were really cool," and Chuck tells him to go home. After he is gone, Chuck instructs his character to "attack troll with nasty knife." When he presses enter a series of images begin displaying. This continues all night until Chuck's alarm goes off the next morning, at which point he collapses, having apparently seen the entire array of images. He wakes up to Morgan looking over him and ghost-images of what he had seen on the computer flashing in front of him. He asks Morgan what happened and accuses him of spiking the punch, which Morgan admits to doing.
Back at the party, Chuck is droning on about the past and the girl he was talking to leaves without him realizing. After the party is over Ellie explains that no woman wants to hear about an old girlfriend and that "Stanford was five years ago, you need to move on," to which Chuck replies "Fine, I'll get over Jill tomorrow."
Chuck is listening to the radio in the shower when a seemingly innocuous comment by the announcer causes him to "flash", i.e. see a rapid stream of data from the email, with certain images highlighted. As he and Morgan are walking towards the Nerd Herder he asks Morgan to drive and tells him to "Do me a favor and stay off the 5 as the police are in a phased ... deployment" (not really realizing what he's saying, and with no clue where the words are coming from).At the Buy More, Chuck explains to the Nerd Herd that there is a new computer virus in the wild, the Irene Demova Virus, named after a porn star, and that "Lonely guy call volume will be high." Morgan turns on the TV display wall and there is a news report of General Stanfield landing in LA. Chuck flashes on the General and learns that this was a lie, the General had been in LA since the night before, he says out loud, "He's already here, he landed last night," when Anna asks him "Who's here, Chuckles?" Chuck responds "I ... don't know ..."
The scene changes to Graham, a woman implied to be Beckman (the actress changes in the second episode of the series), and Casey standing in the remains of the old Intersect room. Beckman explains to Casey that the computer "did everything." After 9/11 the NSA and the CIA were told to play nice, share their information and the Intersect was how they did it. Graham goes on to clarify that "every scrap of information" they had went into the computer. Beckman tells Graham that Casey is leading the investigation into the incident and Casey explains that he got Larkin's handheld, and although the hard drive was damaged beyond repair they were able to trace the email to Los Angeles ("Which is perfect, I'm feeling a little pasty.").
Back at the Buy More, Chuck is on the phone when Sarah walks in, and when he sees Sarah he literally drops the phone. She hands him her cellphone telling him that it's broken, and Chuck explains that the model of phone has a screw that pops loose and promptly fixes it. Before Sarah and Chuck can begin talking a man and his daughter come in to the store. The man explains that his daughter is a ballerina and he videoed her whole dance recital but it won't play back. To his dismay Chuck explains to him that he didn't have any tape in the camera. Chuck then connects the TV display wall to a video camera and has the girl perform the dance, thus showing Sarah what a nice guy he is.
While walking back towards the counter where Sarah is, Harry Tang blocks his way (and obscures the vision of Sarah) and explains to Chuck that there is an open assistant-manager position. When Harry finally moves off Sarah is gone, but has left a card with her number on it.
As Chuck and Morgan are walking towards Chuck's house, they have the following exchange:
Morgan: "Why would you not call this girl?!"
Chuck: "Did you see her?"
Morgan: "Yes, which begs the question; WHY would you not call this girl?"
Chuck goes to Large Mart (Buy More's competitor) to buy new locks. While looking for a person to show him where the locks are, he flashes on a man in the store; the flash shows bombs and buildings exploding, identifying him as a Serbian demolitions expert. Chuck promptly freaks out and tries to escape what he believes to be imminent death because of his recognition of the man.
Sarah tells Graham that the computer was destroyed, to which Graham tells her that is over and the NSA is stepping in. Sarah asks for more time to see if Chuck had an external drive.
She returns to the Buy More, where Chuck is muttering to himself at the Nerd Herd desk that he's losing his mind, and tells Chuck that she thinks her phone is still broken as she never received a call from him. She tells him she just moved into the area and wants someone to show her around, Morgan tells her the Chuck's schedule is wide open and they arrange to meet. As Sarah walks out of the Buy More, Casey, sitting in a SUV, spots her.Chuck and Morgan return home to tell Ellie the good news. The latter is very excited that Chuck has a date and gets him prepared. Meanwhile, in Sarah's apartment, she straps on knives and a Kevlar vest. As she is on the phone with Graham, explaining her belief that Chuck is a good guy. Graham shoots back that "nice guys aren't sent government secrets". As Chuck knocks on the door, Sarah is instructed to kill him if he attempts to run.
Chuck and Sarah go to a Mexican restaurant. Sarah tells him she moved from Washington after coming out of a long relationship with a guy named Bruce (apparently almost saying Bryce, but pausing) ("You give me crap about being a Chuck and you dated a Bruce?") and Chuck tells her that he had a girlfriend at Stanford but that's all over now and her restraining orders are very specific. They then go to a club to see the band Foreign Born play.Outside Casey and his men pull up. Sarah sees them as they enter the club and she gets Chuck to dance as a distraction. While dancing she attacks the approaching NSA agents with knives hidden around her ankles and the chopsticks she used in her hair. When she sees Casey she drags Chuck out of the building and breaks into the Herder. Sarah reverses blind and tells Chuck to tell her when to turn. He says "Left in five seconds," which leaves Sarah to ask "My left or your left?" Chuck had no idea how to answer as they were both the same (Chuck was sitting the same way as Sarah but Sarah probably meant which left based on that he had to turn around to look). She guesses and turns down a set of steps, prompting a group of stoned teenagers to say "Whoa, computer emergency." Chuck asks her what's going on and she explains that they're from the NSA and they're after him, which leaves Chuck even more confused. Casey crashes into the side of the Herder, but while he's backing up Sarah and Chuck make a run for it, only Chuck trips over a part of the door that fell off the Herder. Casey drives straight towards Sarah who throws a knife at a switch to put a set of barriers up. Kneeling to protect herself, Casey's SUV crashes into the barrier and Sarah and Chuck run onto the roof of a building.
On the roof, Sarah explains to Chuck that Bryce was a spy and wants to know if he has contacted Chuck. Chuck tells her about the email. Sarah then quickly asks if he backed it up on an external drive. Chuck answers that it crashed a week ago and asks if he wasn't suppose to look at those pictures. She then tells him that she may need to point her gun at him ("I may have to aim my gun at you so just... don't freak out."). At this point Casey walks onto the roof and tells Sarah that Chuck belongs to the NSA. Sarah points her gun at Chuck and tells Casey the CIA gets him first, and that if Casey goes any closer she will shoot Chuck. Casey points his gun at Sarah and tells her that if she shoots Chuck he will shoot her, leave both their bodies there and go and get a late night snack ("I'm thinking maybe pancakes."). Chuck runs towards the edge of the roof and, when he sees the hotel that General Stanfield is giving his speech in, he flashes. Turning around he tells Casey and Sarah that "Something is wrong with me, okay? I don't know what it is but something is very, very wrong with me, and I'm remembering things I shouldn't know.". Sarah asks him for details, so he explains that there was a Serbian demolitions expert at the Large Mart, that the NSA intercepted blueprints of a hotel (the hotel he was looking at) and that the CIA intercepted schematics for a bomb in Prague and that the bomb is in the hotel. Casey points his gun at Chuck, convinced that since he knows this he was working with Bryce. Sarah explains that he opened Bryce's email and therefore Chuck is now the Intersect.
Sarah: "Chuck, the pictures that you saw were encoded with secrets, government secrets. If you saw them, then you know them."
Chuck: "...There were thousands of them."
Casey: "Wait a minute, you're telling me all of our secrets (shifting pistol's laser sight to Chuck's forehead) are in his head?"
Sarah: "Chuck is the computer."
After this event, Sarah and Casey are arguing over what's going to happen to Chuck. Casey wants to take him - forcibly - to Washington, Sarah is convinced he could be of use to them in the field. Chuck tells Casey that they need him and that he's going home. The next morning Chuck is sitting on the beach and Sarah walks down, revealing that he has been there all night and she's been watching him. She tells him there's nowhere he can run and that he shouldn't tell his family or friends anything, to keep them safe, but that he will be working for the CIA and NSA. She also tells him to trust her.
The next day at the Buy More, Big Mike tells Chuck to train the new guy. The new guy turns out to be Casey, and Sarah comes in, posing as a customer. Chuck looks at a ring she's wearing and flashes on it. The flash reveals a video recording of her fighting a group of people off single-handedly before shooting out the video camera. The episode ends with the static from the disabled video camera and Chuck whispering "Don't freak out.", presumably to himself.
The Gallery for Chuck Versus the Intersect can be found here.
- The character Kayla Hart appeared in early draft of the pilot as a love interest for Chuck but was removed. Morgan's surname was later changed from Morgan Pace to "Grimes" and Sarah's surname was changed to "Walker" as it was previously "Kent".
- When Morgan first sees Sarah, he says, "Stop the presses, who is that? Vicki Vale!" Chuck, distracted on the phone, sings, "Vicki Vale! Vick- V- Vicki Vale!" Then he catches Sarah's eye -- and, embarrassed, he drops the phone. "That's from Batman," he explains. "Cause that makes it better," Sarah says. The reference is to "Batdance", a single from Prince's soundtrack to the 1989 Batman movie. The song uses samples from the movie's dialogue, including the phrases "Stop the presses, who is that?" and "Vicki Vale". Apparently, Morgan's thoughts of pretty blonde women inevitably lead him back to Kim Basinger circa 1989.
- The scene at the hotel which shows Chuck, Sarah and Casey running through the fountain is taken from TV series "The O.C.", which is also produced by Josh Schwartz.
- The line from Zork is the first encounter with a hostile enemy in the game. The correct way to defeat the terrible troll is to use the elvish sword, not the nasty knife. However, Chuck may have used the knife as it was Chuck and Bryce's own version of the game. It would make sense for Bryce to do this, as an outsider who received the email would be inclined to "attack troll with elvish sword", theoretically this would not have opened the Intersect images as only Chuck would know that in this version of Zork the correct weapon to use is the nasty knife.
- The "IRENE DEMOVA" adult website containing a virus is a reference to the stereotyping of internet pornography containing viruses.
- In literary terms, Chuck may be seen as the successor to Mycroft Holmes, whom Sherlock describes thus in 'The Bruce-Partington Plans', "He has the tidiest and most orderly brain, with the greatest capacity for storing facts, of any man living. The same great powers which I have turned to the detection of crime he has used for this particular business. The conclusions of every department are passed to him, and he is the central exchange, the clearinghouse, which makes out the balance. All other men are specialists, but his specialism is omniscience.".
Chuck: Morgan, this is a bad idea.
Morgan: Well, we can't stay here, Chuck.
Chuck: I'm uncomfortable with the plan.
Morgan: Plan? What plan? This is survival.
Morgan: [after hearing knocking at the door] That's her. We've been compromised. I'm a ghost.
Chuck: [Ellie enters and turns on the light] Morgan, you can't leave me like this. You can't do this to me, man.
Ellie: Chuck, what are you doing?
Chuck: Uh, escaping.
Ellie: From your own birthday party?
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- Journey - Any Way You Want It
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- Martin Brothers - The Missionary