Chuck Versus the Pink Slip
Season 03, Episode 01
Air Date January 10, 2010
Writer Chris Fedak & Matt Miller
Director Robert Duncan McNeill
Previous "Chuck Versus the Ring"
Next "Chuck Versus the Three Words"

Chuck Versus the Pink Slip is the third season premiere, which aired on January 10, 2010. It is the thirty-sixth episode overall, and was the first part of a double bill.

Synopsis Edit

With his new Intersect 2.0 abilities, Chuck now wants to be a real spy, but nobody said that was easy - As the upgraded Intersect, Chuck trains to become a full-fledged spy but hits rock bottom when he flunks out of spy school and loses Sarah in the process.

Meanwhile, Morgan comes home from Benihana School to help Chuck get over Sarah.

Full Plot Edit

The episode starts six months after the events of "Chuck Versus the Ring", and begins in Prague, where Chuck is being held captive by members of a Russian mob. Tied to a chair, a bag is pulled off Chuck's head and the leader of the mob, identified as Yuri, addresses Chuck as "Agent Carmichael" (Chuck's pseudonym during much of his spy work). Chuck requests that Yuri return a case to his possession, but Yuri refuses, highlighting the fact that Chuck is unarmed, tied up, and surrounded. Through a hidden earpiece, General Beckman advises Chuck that they have confirmed the case is in the room. Chuck demands Yuri hand over the case again, but Yuri draws his gun, causing Chuck to flash on advanced martial arts. Chuck manages to free himself and take one mob members gun, before threatening all of the mob members to get on the ground. Yuri still refuses to hand over the case, and Beckman advises Chuck to open fire. Yuri taunts Chuck to shoot, but instead Chuck uses his martial arts ability to quickly dispatch Yuri and his goons, before escaping the building with the case on Beckman's orders.

301 1

Chuck attempts to force Yuri to hand over the briefcase

Upon escaping the building, Beckman orders Chuck to get to a rooftop, as a helicopter is coming in to extract him. However, when Chuck manages to gain some height, Beckman informs him that the helicopter is too far away, and instead he should zipline across to safety using a power line. Chuck hesitates, but Beckman informs him that the ability to zipline is in the Intersect. Chuck does as he is told, and climbs onto the roof of the building where the power line is located, removing his belt and wrapping it around the power line. However Chuck panics when he realises how high he is, and is unable to flash on the zipline, despite Beckman's provocation. Yuri then shouts "You're dead" from below, and draws his pistol on Chuck, before being joined by several of his goons. Suddenly, a spotlight turns on and angles at Chuck's face, and Beckman appears, using a loud speaker to signal the end of the simulation. (It is at this point it becomes clear that Chuck was in fact part of a training mission). "Yuri", who by his true accent is clearly a US agent, puts his gun down and his men follow suit, before Beckman shouts to the rooftop: "Chuck. You can come down now." Humorously, Chuck's trousers fall down as he removed his belt when he attempted to use the zipline.

Down in the street, Beckman demands to know why Chuck didn't shoot Yuri, and Chuck argues he isn't comfortable shooting people. Beckman tells Chuck "This isn't working out.", and despite Chuck's argument, she informs Chuck that the problem "is not with the computer, it's with you." Chuck realises she is about to fire him, and pleads with her, trying to persuade her about how much he gave up for this oppurtunity to become a spy. On Beckman's instruction, an agent called Frank appears and tranquilizes Chuck, who collapses, and a flashback begins.

Flashback to six months earlier, and a montage of the Season Two finale plays, before Casey informs Chuck that he is going to a training facility. Chuck informs Sarah that he is going to become a "real spy", and Sarah blunt, before walking off. Chuck chases her, and she tells him that if he goes to train to become an agent, he will change and become a different person, before offering to run away with him. She tells him to go to the training facility for now, and meet her in three weeks. Chuck accepts, and the flashback ends, before the scene cuts to Chuck sitting on the sofa with Ellie and Devon standing over him, asking where Sarah is. Chuck tells them he lost her, and Ellie advises him to call her. Cut to Sarah emerging from a swimming pool with an unidentified man, and her phone rings. She sees it's Chuck, and she tosses it into the swimming pool.

Chuck, clearly emotionally distraught at losing Sarah, is shown getting out of bed and grabbing the cheese balls from the top of the fridge, before lying down on the sofa and watching TV. He is blunt with Ellie and Devon, who try and persuade him to find a job. A montage plays of many days of Chuck lying on the sofa, his beard growing with each transition, until one day he is lying asleep on the sofa, the box of cheese balls empty, and with a large beard from lack of shaving. Ellie attempts to wake him, and informs him that he has a visitor. Morgan appears, and Chuck cannot believe it at first. He informs Chuck that he is doing well in Hawaii with Anna, before Chuck falls asleep on the couch. Ellie forces Chuck to sit up, and tells Chuck he "is going to do something today." The others then leave, and Chuck notices his box of cheese balls is empty. Reading the sticker on the bottom, he realises they are from the Buy More, and sets off in disguise.

301 2

Emmett confronts Chuck at the Buy More

Upon entering the store, Chuck attempts to blend in, but his beard, long cloak and sunglasses give off an odd impression to the other shoppers and Emmett, the store manager. Jeff approaches Chuck, not knowing his true identity, and asks how he can help. Chuck attempts to throw his voice, and explains he is looking for cheese balls. Jeff explains they are in isle 3, and leaves, before Chuck locates them. Emmett, watching the CCTV footage, believes Chuck to be an estranged shoplifter and calls security, who approach Chuck and corner him with Emmett. Emmett demands Chuck hand him the cheese balls, and Chuck removes his sunglasses, revealing his true identity. Emmett, clearly pleased at Chuck's misfortune, alerts the other workers using the loudspeaker, and they surround Chuck, in disbelief he has become such a person. Emmett taunts Chuck, triggering a flash on kung fu, which Chuck attempts to surpress. Emmett continues to attack Chuck verbally, and Chuck finds it hard to hold the kung fu in. He pleads with Emmett to stop, who believes Chuck is on drugs, before Chuck drops the cheese balls in anger. Finally, Chuck calms himself, and Lester approaches him, asking him if he has returned to work at the Buy More. He explains he can't help them, and Lester counters that Chuck doesn't care about them because he still has "blondie" (referencing Sarah). Obviously, Chuck is no longer in contact with Sarah, and realises that they must have seen her around in Burbank. Jeff explains they see her going in and out of the Orange Orange.

Chuck goes to the yogurt shop, peering through the window. Unlocking the door, he calls for Sarah, before an unknown person kicks him and knocks him down, spilling cheese balls everywhere. It's revealed to be Casey, who calls Chuck's state "pathetic" before helping him up and demanding to know why he is in the Orange Orange. Chuck claims he left a jacket behind in Castle, and he allows Chuck in. Chuck attempts to question Casey about Sarah, but Casey denies having seen her. However, this is contradicted when his phone rings, and it is Sarah. Chuck pleads with Casey to allow him to talk to her when he is done, and Casey tells Sarah "it's the 'lemon'". Sarah, clearly unwilling to talk to Chuck, ends the conversation, and Casey hangs up. Chuck offers his help on Casey's next assignment, but Casey isn't convinced, so Chuck explains that Beckman fired him. Casey types on a laptop, and Chuck notices the location of their next mission is "El Bucho", unbeknownst to Casey. Chuck leaves, but Casey tries to ask him what happened between him and Sarah. Chuck simply replies with "Something I need to fix", before leaving Castle.

Cut to Chuck's bathroom, and Chuck is shaving his beard, before picking his Buy More uniform out of his wardrobe, and getting changed. That night, Chuck turns up at El Bucho, and when he is stopped by security, he claims that "somebody called about a computer emergency". He is allowed in, and spots Casey across the room, who is posing as a waiter. Casey notices him too, and the two exchange glances, before Casey informs Sarah via his watch that they "have a situation". Sarah notices Chuck, and as Chuck walks Chuck notices her. Sarah gets up and walks over, asking why he is here. He tells her is there for nothing more than back up, but Sarah notices guards entering the restaurant, and orders Chuck to kiss her. Chuck is startled, believing Sarah wants to make up, but obliges, and the two make out, before Sarah notices a specific man enter. She then slaps Chuck around the face, he collapses, and the man approaches, revealing himself as her date. He asks who Chuck is, and Sarah explains it is her ex, who is having "trouble letting go". The pair walk off, leaving Chuck moaning on the floor.

Later that night, Casey and Sarah are shown with Chuck, who is holding an ice bag to his cheek after being slapped. Casey mocks Chuck for collapsing so easily, which Chuck puts down to an "empty stomach". Chuck apologises for almost compromising the mission, explaining he wants to prove he can operate proficiently to Beckman. He pleads to Sarah to convince Casey, but Sarah remains cold after Chuck decided not to run away with her, and tells Casey to kick him out, before leaving. Chuck tries to talk to Casey, and Casey explains the man she is with is the mark, who is meeting with a member of The Ring later that evening, and they will strike at the Ring operatives when the time is right, before imploring Chuck to leave before he spooks Javier. When Chuck asks who, Casey tells him: "The courier, Javier Cruz.", before heading back into the restaurant after Sarah. Chuck flashes on the name, and realises Javier is an international assassin. However, the agents Casey left behind force Chuck out of the restaurant, despite his pleads.

301 3

Javier Cruz targets Sarah and the mark

Casey informs Sarah via his watch that he "dumped the lemon", and Chuck is shown banging on the restaurant door, begging to be allowed back in. He attempts to bust the door down but fails, and drops his Buy More ID, before flashing on the door and learning kung fu. A man approaches Chuck from the right, and Chuck accidently knocks him out using a kung fu kick, which he then apologises to himself for. Realising the man was due to play guitar that evening in the restaurant, Chuck takes his clothes and puts them on, before taking the guitar and entering the restaurant disguised as the guitar player for the band. Quickly, he is rushed up onto the stage by the restaurant staff. When the keyboard player asks where the other guitar player is, Chuck claims he has a "spastic colon". Chuck then realises he cannot play the guitar, and instead strums nervously, before looking down at the guitar and flashing. Immediately, he begins to play professionally, much to Sarah and Casey's surprise. The mark Sarah is with realises it is her "ex", and Sarah claims he likes to show off. Chuck tries to warn Casey that the courer Javier Cruz is an assassin, but when Casey asks where, Chuck shrugs his shoulders. The guitar player Chuck knocked out earlier then wakes up, pulling his fake moustache and hair off, revealing that he is in fact the courier assassin. The mark offers Sarah his bodyguards to get rid of Chuck, but Sarah refuses, instead asking the mark to dance. When the mark questions Chuck's appearance again, Sarah explains that Chuck is trying to make him jealous. However, the mark doesn't buy it for long, and Casey suggests to his agents to tranquilize Chuck. As one of the agents fires, Chuck ducks and the tranqulizer dart hits the keyboard player, who collapses. Sarah assures the mark he has nothing to worry about, but Javier appears from backstage, and aims a gun at the mark without anyones knowledge. As they dance, the laser sight dodges between Sarah and the mark, and Chuck notices, flinging himself at Sarah to get her out of the shot. Javier quickly leaves, and several of the guests draw guns. Sarah demands to know what Chuck is doing, and Chuck explains that an assassin almost killed her. Sarah asks where he is, and Chuck, realising Javier has gone, cannot answer. Sarah explains that half the guests in the restaurant are undercover, and Casey threatens Chuck for ruining the operation. Sarah stops him, but angrily explains to Chuck: "You don't work anymore Chuck. It's over." The assassin is shown picking up Chuck's dropped Buy More ID around the back of the restaurant.

Chuck is shown falling back into depression, as he gets up and lies on the sofa with the cheese balls once again. Ellie and Devon comment on the fact that Chuck has shaved, and Chuck explains: "It was a rash decision." Ellie explains to Devon that watching him sit around all day is pathetic, and Devon privately approaches Chuck, asking if all this is some elaborate cover for an operation. Chuck explains to Devon that he was fired, and Devon soon leaves. Later, when Chuck is sleeping on the sofa, he hears a man approaching him from behind. In fright, Chuck threatens the man with the cheese balls box, only to realise it's Morgan. Morgan tries to find out what's wrong, and Chuck explains that he blew the best job he would ever have. Morgan takes Chuck to the Buy More, and explains that Anna left him in Hawaii for the prep chef, which left Morgan unable to work anymore. So he moved back to Burbank, and now lives in the Home Theater Room. Emmett sees Morgan living in the Home Theater Room on the CCTV footage, and tells himself he will have "the authorities deal with him tomorrow."

Cut to Castle, where Sarah and Casey are evidently packing up to leave. Casey explains "I'm going to miss this..." and Sarah turns around and asks "What?", thinking Casey is talking about their adventures with Chuck. Casey explains he is going to miss the M-134 Minigun. Sarah turns off a CCTV camera monitoring Chuck, and Casey calls him a "Poor bastard.", showing a degree of compassion. Casey tells Sarah that Chuck still loves her, which Sarah denies, and Casey explains that whilst he doesn't know what happened between them both, he has seen "men have their fingernails pulled out treated more humanely than you did that kid." Sarah explains she was doing her job, and Casey retorts that her job is over, and that she should "put him out of his misery".

301 Chuck Emmett's death

Cruz kills Emmett at the Buy More

Back at the Buy More that night, Emmett is shown in his car, listening to music. Seeing an intruder, Emmett gets out of his car, Emmett approaches the man, who is revealed to be Javier Cruz, the assassin. When Emmett taunts him and threatens him if he doesn't leave, Cruz shoots Emmett in the eye, who collapses into a pile of cardboard boxes, clearly dead. Inside the Buy More, Chuck and Morgan are shown leaving and reminiscing about the "Buy More years". Sarah approaches Chuck, and Morgan, realising the awkwardness of the situation, leaves. Sarah explains she wanted to say a proper goodbye, and her and Chuck shake hands. When Chuck tries to apologise, Sarah realises that several armed goons are approaching them from behind, and Javier Cruz knocks Chuck down with the butt of his pistol. Sarah, surrounded, surrenders.

Chuck wakes up on a bed in a prison cell, and gets up groggily. The cell door opens, and Cruz walks in, asking who Chuck is. He takes a Ring Communicator and puts it in his coat, before threatening Chuck to reveal his true identity. When Chuck attempts to flash, he fails, and Cruz beats Chuck up, before explaining that Chuck will reveal all the secrets he knows and who he works for and leaving. Flashback to the Prague train station, and Chuck approaches as Sarah is waiting on the platform. Sarah sees him and smiles, and Chuck walks over, before explaining that he can't run away with her because he wants to become a true spy, before waking up in real life back in the prison cell.

Casey is shown attempting to locate Sarah at Castle, and observes the Buy More security cameras before noticing Emmett's dead body in the Buy More loading bay. Casey requests satellite images of every car entering the Buy More over the last 6 hours, before taking the Minigun case off the table and leaving. Cut back to Chuck, who is again attempting to flash on kung fu to escape. However, he is once more unable to do so, presumably due to his emotional position with Sarah. Sarah calls to him through the cell wall -- she is in a cell on the other side of the wall. She tells Chuck to break out of his cell and rescue her as she was unable to pick the lock. Chuck explains he is unable to flash, but Sarah comforts him as Javier returns to his cell. When Javier threatens to hurt Sarah, Chuck flashes and knocks Javier out in one punch, before taking his keys and Ring Communicator and leaving the cell. He unlocks Sarah's sell, and the pair leave, to find they are being held in Mexico. From the top of a tower, they observe their surroundings, and duck as an enemy agent fires a shotgun at them. Sarah returns fire, before more agents emerge, and Sarah explains they need to run as she is running out of ammunition. Chuck notices a power line leaving the building, and flashes on it, learning the ability to zipline. He wraps his belt around the wire and Sarah clings onto him, before the pair zipline to presumed safety, only to encounter more agents at their landing point, including Cruz, who points a gun at the pair. They surrender, but a helicopter appears, with Casey hanging out of it with the M1-34 Minigun at hand. He sprays the goons and Cruz with bullets, before landing and picking up Chuck and Sarah.

Back at Castle, Beckman debriefs the team, explaining the importance of Chuck's find of the Ring Communicator - it is the first ever captured by the NSA or CIA. When Sarah explains she is departing with Casey to go to Lisbon to destroy another Ring cell, Beckman refuses, instead explaining that she is restarting Operation Bartowski. Chuck expects his new cover to be something grand, but it is then revealed he has been reinstated at the Buy More. It is also revealed that Casey lied to Chuck about Emmetts death - Chuck believes Emmett took a Large Mart job in Anchorage. Chuck thanks Casey for rehiring Morgan aswell, but Casey leaves and Chuck and Morgan walk off together.

In Castle, Beckman instructs Sarah to keep Chuck's emotions in check because he is an "unstable element". At Chuck's apartment, Ellie and Devon reveal they are moving into the apartment across the courtyard, leaving Chuck alone in the other apartment. Chuck accepts Morgan as his roommate, before Morgan rushes into the apartment, leaving Chuck alone in the courtyard. Sarah approaches him, and invites him to talk, which he accepts. He explains that he only didn't go with Sarah in Prague because a job as a real spy gave him direction, and Sarah too apologises, stating that she acted impulsively, almost ruling out any relationship they could have. She tells Chuck that as a spy, he has to keep his feelings to himself. Sarah leaves, but Casey leaves his apartment, calling Chuck to get ready for his training. A montage of Chuck training with Casey is then played, and Chuck flashes, with the episode ending just as Chuck and Casey move to punch each other.

Guest Stars Edit

Trivia Edit

  • At the end of Season Two, the future of Chuck was uncertain due to the poor ratings which the show was bringing in. Without the fan-initiated Save Chuck campaign, Season Three may never have come to fruition.
  • The capital city of the Czech Republic (in the east from Germany), Prague, is seen in this episode. But there are some flaws:
    • Sarah tells Chuck: For now, go to the training facility in Prague, then meet me at the Nadrazi train station…" but the word "nadrazi" has in Czech meaning of "station". The name of this particular train station is "Praha hlavní nádraží", which means "Prague - main station". Sarah should have said for example: "meet me at the Hlavni nadrazi station".
    • Although the Czech texts on the station are correct, there is a window with a sign "Letenky" which means "airline tickets". Maybe there should have been "Jízdenky" which means "train tickets".
    • There is no such view from the main railway station in Prague, like it is portrayed in the show.
  • The freeze frame at the end of the episode of Chuck and Casey about to punch each other is nearly identical to the freeze frame at the end of Rocky III with Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed. "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor, from the Rocky series, plays over the scene.
  • The first Intersect 2.0 flash seen in the flashback is different from the one shown at the end of the season 2 finale, showing the new one seen from series 3 onwards.
  • The scene right after the opening credits that shows Chuck laying around the house wearing a beige bathrobe is a reference to Jeff Bridges' character The Dude from The Big Lebowski. The song played during that scene, "Just Dropped In" by Kenny Rogers was also used in the film. Aditionally, the scene where Chuck goes to the Buy More wearing the bathrobe and sunglasses is similar to the opening scene of the film.


Sarah: We could run? You and me. We go now and never look back.

Chuck: Are you serious?

Sarah: I have some money saved up. I'd have to ge us some new identities. Create an escape route. For now go to the training facility in Prague. Then meet me in the Nadrazzi Train Station in 3 weeks time at 7:00. And then I can figure out the rest later.

Chuck: What are you saying?

Sarah: I'm saying I want to be a real person again, with you. That's what you want, right? I mean this is it, Chuck. Will you run away with me?

Chuck: [Thinks about it] Yeah.

Music Edit

  • Sam Sparro – “Black And Gold”
  • Wilson Philips – “Hold On”
  • Frightened Rabbit – “Backwards Walk”
  • Imogen Heap – “Wait It Out”
  • Survivor – “Eye of The Tiger”
  • Kenny Rogers – “Just Dropped In”

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