Season 1 Episode 7

Chuck Versus the Alma Mater

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Nov 05, 2007 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (23)

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  • Chuck goes back to Stanford. Tang is evil. And then there's Bryce.

    I am amazed by this episode. When I read the summary saying that Chuck was going to go back to Stanford, I knew it was going to be a good episode. But this I was not expecting. There are some hilarious moments with Morgan and Tang: Yay for crazy amounts of Lord of the Rings references. And Captain Awesome is awesome as usual. But what really grabbed me was the friendship between Bryce and Chuck. In the beginning I hated him so much for ruining Chuck's life. He seemed like the wrong kind of friend to have for someone like Chuck. The writers turned everything around and made it work perfectly. Bryce was a good person and trying to help Chuck. Will this be the last we see of him? I really hope not. Overall, this episode had exactly the right spy-feel (the Icelandic assassin) with humor and so much heart and character development.
  • This show is amazing!

    Chuck has to return to Stanford University, his Alma Mater from which he was unceremoniously expelled, on homecoming weekend to help a former professor, who, as Chuck finds out, is also a government operative being hunted for a sensitive top-secret file. Chuck must use his past experiences to find the Professor's hidden secret, while also discovering shocking secrets about his own life. More importantly, Chuck discovers the truth about his former friend Bryce Larkin and why Bryce had Chuck kicked out of Stanford. Meanwhile, Morgan has problems with the new assistant manager at Buy More. Another awesome episode from Chuck. I just love this show. My third favourite, anyway, I loved the fact that Chuck had to go back to Stanford. Another great storyline.
  • Chuck goes back to Stanford and faces his past...

    This was a fantastic episode!! I love that we finally got to know more about Chucks past and why he was expelled from Stanford. In the episodes so far it has been very obvious that this has been very painfull for Chuck, and even though it has been 5 years he still has many questions about it. These question are finally answered, and we learn that Chuck almost became a CIA-agent, but that his roommate Bryce made sure it didn't happen out of concern for Chuck. I'm so glad he learned this, so now Chuck can finally stop hating Bryce, which is going to be somewhat easier for Sarah to handle, since she was together with Bryce before he died...
  • Great!

    This episode was great, mainly because, we, the viewer, got to finally find out more about Chucks past history and more about the mysterious character of Bryce.

    The episode was written well and in the end turned out great in my opinion. It was great that we got so many questions raised and answered all within an episode, and it developed the overall Chuck storyline much much better.

    This is exactly why i watch this show, and this is a top episode in the first series. Its good to see that Chuck is living up to the potential that I thought it had.
  • awesome

    Chuck has to return to Stanford University, the institute that expelled him, on homecoming weekend to help a former professor, who, as Chuck finds out, is also a government operative being hunted for a sensitive top-secret file. Chuck must use his past experiences to find the Professor's hidden secret, while also discovering shocking secrets about his own life. More importantly, Chuck discovers the truth about his former friend Bryce Larkin and why Bryce had Chuck kicked out of Stanford. Meanwhile, Morgan has problems with the new assistant manager at Buy More. Another great episode of this superb show. pure entertainment at its best.
  • Chuck is back at Stanford

    Chuck has to go back to Stanford, not his least most favoutite place after he got kicked out. Professor Fleming goes missing and Beckman asks for Chuck's Help, Chuck flashes on his Stanford ID then runs to ask Casey why his file is in the Intersect. Neither Casey nor Sarah knows.

    The three of them go looking for him, Chuck is told to stay in the car but he sees Fleming, they both talk and the Professor is hit by arrow. Chuck flashes yet again and how he was playing spy games with Bryce realizes that the numbers on Fleming's note are Dewey Decimal numbers belonging to a book in the Stanford library. Now he must go back.

    Chuck finds the hidden disk but then Magnus appears with his goons and they do battle, Chuck looks the disk and stars calling the students that are on it asking them to come to the toga party with lots of fire power, they appear and help Sarah and Casey defeat the Goons.

    Chuck still has the Disk and Sarah tells him not look into it but he does anyway he wants to know, he finds the Video of Bryce and realizes that Bryce saved him.
  • Best episode so far

    In order to find his old college proffessor (who's a spy) Chuck hyas to go back to college, where his best friend Bryce got him kicked out of school. Chuck flashes on his school card and meets his old prof, who gets attacked. Chuck goes back to school and finds a disk in the library about the CIA spies that were recruited at school with Chuck and Bryce on the list. During a battle between Casey and Sara VS the bad guys Chuck calls some operatives for the CIA and gets them to help out. At the end, Chuck clicks on his file and finds out his friend Bryce telling the prof not to get Chuck become a CIA operative as he cares for him. Bryce goit chuck kicked out of school to save him.
  • Chuck is off to Standford, unwillingly wanting to go.

    Chuck is off to Stanford, the college that had expelled him, to gain some closure and maybe some answers on Bryce. It seems Stanford, and the Professor who expelled him are full of CIA agents! It was the Professor who didn't think that Chuck could make the grade as a CIA agent and pretty much cut him loose. Then the Professor gets cut loose. This spy business is pretty bad! Once the Professor is nailed (fairly literally) Chuck finds out more about Bryce and why Bryce chose him for the intersect. A very good show, full of action, laughter and fun.
  • A fantastic, memorable episode with both humor, action, and extreme character development!

    Wow, Chuck keeps exceeding my expectations. At first, it seemed like the typical, 'lame' humor grinded out by the dozen, with no relation between any episodes, but the last few episodes have proved me wrong.

    This episode was amazing, fleshing out the backstory of the characters, showing Bryce's true character, which was touching, and shows Chuck returning to his Alma Mater.

    Each episode adds a little more humor, a little more character development instead of a open and shut case, which is what makes this series so special. It's also nice to see Adam Baldwin of Firefly fame act out his hilarious sarcastic quips, and the hot girls don't hurt either.

    This show is definitely now on my must-watch list.
  • Best episode to date !!

    I loved this episode !! We had so many questions and we got so many answers in this one episode. And the writers did all this without sacrificing any of the reasons why we love the show in the first place.

    We all felt Chuck's pain as he was fighting so hard about whether or not to go back to Stanford to find the answers about why he flashed on himself. He needed closure on this part of his life so bad. I love the fact that Bryce sacrificed Chuck for his own good because he didn't want Chuck to live that life. And Sarah's pain at learning that Bryce really didnt' betray Chuck at all. So great. Captian Awesome, "Are you coming to the toga party?" and "OU812#" -- the classic comedy of Chuck that we love. Great episode. Best one yet.
  • The episode we all hoped would come. Not just because of the storyline revealed but the truly brilliant way it was delivered, showing the writers can really deliver both on the characters and the plotline. Chuck now holds even more promise.

    With the very obvious aim of resolving some of the questions about Chuck's past and why his best friend Bryce had turned on him when he was a student at Stanford, this episode had a number of less obvious reveals in it as well. But the real kicker here was that both the writing team and the actors stepped it up at least two gears as this episode not only had the best pacing and best editing, but easily the best storyline and the actors all seemed to really revel in both the plot and their own characters involvement in it to make it all the more cohesive and compelling.

    The series of flashbacks lay out a massive amount of info - about how close Chuck and Bryce were as friends, about how brilliant Chuck really was at college, about how completely confused and bewildered he was at finding he'd been set up as having cheated on his exams with that being the reason he then got thrown out, that Bryce has reported him, and in a very hard hitting way (for me anyway) how cold and emotionless Bryce behaved on the day he left - telling him he'd done it to himself. It totally filled in all the reasons why Chuck's character is the way he is - somewhat disjointed and wary of people, as well as why he was quite stunned when Bryce had contacted him in the first episode. While these are all great reveals for us watching, back in the present Chuck himself learns his college Professor named Flemming was a scientist working with the CIA, he's seen in the present giving a lecture at Stanford on the subject of hidden images within a master image. This is the first subtle reveal, showing us some background on the technology used by the agency in the Intersect itself. And when Chuck flashes on his own ID card and learns that he himself is actually a part of the Intersect, you're left feeling damn this is getting good. The episode main plot is simply that the professor has made a disc of data and a free-lance spy has learned about it and wants to steal it to sell to the highest bidder. By itself it wouldn't have been that great a story, but when chuck has to go back and face Stanford again to find the disc (or book initially) it sets up the other reveals that follow in the present.

    Again the episode plot pans out pretty simply - Chuck goes back to Stanford and remembers from a flashback with Bryce that there's a trigger under the bookshelf, finds the disc, gets chased by the spy and his henchmen, who are overcome and the disc is saved.

    It's the disc itself that sets up all the further reveals. It details a huge long list of operatives the good Professor has set up over the years. Bryce is there of course, and as expected from his flashback on himself, Chuck is on it too. In the heat of the chase action there is no time to look at the details, but all the contact details on all the other agents is very useful, as Chuck calls a number of them up on the campus and they come running to his aid in overpowering the spy and his crew. This was one of the great subtle reveals because Chuck not only learns he is not alone on the list, the other members do too, and most importantly he leaves Stanford this time not feeling he is an outcast and that the people there are out to destroy him, but that he is a member of something special there and the people there will do anything for him.

    This is heavily backed up after all the action when Chuck is able to look at the disc properly, and in particular his own entry, and finds that even without his knowledge the CIA have decided he MUST become an agent, as his scores show he is so brilliant he will be invaluable to them. The video interview for his internship is interrupted by Bryce who is already an agent, and who knows his best friend is just too honest and good to get involved as an agent, that it will kill him. He hatches a plan with the Professor where they will show Chuck actually cheated on his exams so that the grades are found fake and the agency wont want him, and he will be kicked out of Stanford. The acting here by Bryce (Matthew Bomer) is really excellent. He's heartfelt and very convincing in his desperation to get Chuck out of the CIA's spotlight, and you're left, as Chuck is, really understanding just what he had to go through to be seen to have stabbed his best friend in the back; to have him think for some reason he suddenly hated Chuck, to tell him calmly and blankly to his face that Chuck had brought it all on himself, and to never talk to or contact him again, except as the last thing he ever did when he sent Chuck the Intersect as he lay dying. It's pretty damn moving stuff for a comedy drama. And not to forget that Sarah is there quietly heartbroken as she learns what her boyfriend really did to save his best friend, and that he obviously never told her, you feel a real sense of the added loss she feels inside now knowing just what kind of a man she lost.

    Chuck rescuing the photo of him and Bryce from the trash and the final Flashback of how he and Bryce met with their mutual "snap" over Zork just add to reinforce the feeling behind their friendship and what it now means to Chuck moving forward.

    And let's not forget that this is a comedy drama. If the Chuck storyline was without doubt almost all the drama, then you can not overlook the brilliant back and forths to the Buy More and the Harry Tang takeover remote control saga. Don't know how they did it but this episode also included some of the funniest comedy scenes we've seen yet in Chuck too. I am going to have trouble watching C.S. Lee on Dexter now at the same time after "I'm going to break you Grimes... because you're soft... like pudding". Or "I'd rather take a potato peeler to my groin" I have laughed so hard in ages. Of course Chuck wasn't left out either - "Wow, That new high def screen sure shows every wrinkle - they can hear you - twinkle, every twinkle..."

    Really really good stuff - this is television at its best.
  • Probably the best episode so far!!!

    This episode revealed a boat-load of information and was very exciting too. The Stanford flashback were magnificant. Very interesting it was likreading a mystery novel. I kept thinking why would the Professor do that, and why did Bryce blackmail Chuck. Casey and Chuck's sarcasm battle is still pretty good. Sarah is really emotional when it comes to Bryce, I think I missed something unless it is just becasue he died and she loved him. I really enjoyed the flashback clips and how Bryce's actions towards Chuck were revealed. It had the drama, comedy, and alot of action. This show is just too hot to stop watching right now. Please end the strike writers, we need more Chuck!
  • great episode

    Chuck is told by the CIA that his former professor is missing after being hunted down by an icelandic freelance spy. They tell Chuck to go back to Stanford University to assist Sarah and Casey. Chuck reluctantly goes back to Stanford. Along the way he learns something about Bryce. It's a really exciting episode. When Chuck goes in and out of his double life becomes really exciting when we see him in grave danger. The story inside Buy More is also very funny. Morgan deals with the tyrannical Tang. The writers are always coming up with funny episodes to tell. I really liked this episode.
  • Finally a show that answers some of the fans questions.

    I am so proud of the writers of this episode of Chuck. How many shows have we seen where we're promised answers to our burning questions and then when we see the episode we're sorely disappointed? (Heroes, Lost anyone??) In this episode, we find out why Bryce Larkin told Chuck's professor that he was cheating. We find out why Chuck was sent the e-mail of the Intersect. It really gave Chuck a sense of closure about Stanford and his experiences there. Now he will be able to move on in his life. It also gave us a more realistic answer as to why Chuck was chosen for the Intersect info. Bravo!
  • A plot twist that will have a rippling effect on the rest of the season.

    I cannot believe how well done this episode was! The writing, music and dialog were perfect to continue the story and give Chuck a vital new goal. Seeing Chuck at Stamford was awesome. I always thought that he was a nerd on campus but from his flash backs it seems more like he was the average guy just trying to get by. That was the absolute best part though, the flashbacks, showing us what it was like to be at Stamford with Chuck. One of the most revealing moments was the fact that Chuck is able to retain up to 98% of coded images. Lastly seeing the "classified" information on the disk was critical to Chuck's development as a character and because of this he no longer is doing this because he has to. He is doing it to find out why Bryce sent him the information.
  • Chuck hits perfection with flashback episode...

    This was it. This was the episode that was going to show if the writers had what it took. This was the episode where everything had to be perfect. Chuck returns to Standford. After watching the first two episodes I could have told you that this was the episode that needs to be epic in order for me to have faith in the show. And the writers nailed it with the greatest episode of Chuck to date and one of the best hours of television I may have ever watched in my life. I dont think it has cracked the top ten or anything, but this episode me be the tops among all of the Chuck episodes to come. The Buy More "filler" scenes were classic comedy type stuff as a relief from the spygames that always seem to be getting played. Chuck and team did a fantastic job in this episode - with amazing comedy filled with a solid backstory on top of it. Finding out that Bryce saved Chuck, he didnt betray him was one of the best twists I thinkt he show could have done. This hatred for Bryce has been so built up that we all overlooked the simple fact that maybe he did it to save him - the episode was placed perfectly within the season and should have a lastes impression on the rest of the season. Overall it was a fantastic episode, one of the best...
  • Finally we get to see the history behind the Chuck and Bryce incident.It is nice to know the history that happened in Stanford and that Bryce wasn't really a jerk. At Buy More,Morgan and the others against Tang because he took the TV remote away from them

    It was a really good idea to show is the actual history of what happened at Stanford with Bryce. This episode showed and proved that Bryce wasn't really the jerk that many thought he was. I think it was very sweet and great for Bryce to protect Chuck, even though he did it by getting him kicked out, he still had good intentions. Chuck must have been happy or at least taken his grudge off Bryce now that he knows the real reasons for what he did. Now that we know the story begind the drama we can understand the show better.
  • Chuck is at his best!

    Chuck is reluctant to go to Stanford but Casey and Sarah insist that he go back and settle a score with a professor who got him kicked out there. As we will get to that later on. The professor when you meet him seems to be a total jerk. And that you want to go back and really hit him for embarrassing Chuck over getting him kicked out of the college. The professor also happens to be a government agent whom the feds want to bring him in over some secret stuff that he has. But we finally learn a different side of the professor and that he had to kick out Chuck because he didn't think Chuck was CIA material due to him being mild-mannered and a big heart. Also poor Morgan dealing with that jerk Henry Tang. Tang will get his someday, somehow.
  • To understand the history of a thing is to understand what it truly is.

    Chuck vs. The Alma Mater is all about history. Specifically, the history of why Chuck was kicked out of Stanford, and by extension hints of why he came into the possession of the Intersect. This is Chuck's "A Human Reaction" episode, or at the very least the lead-up to it.

    As 'Scapers know, AHR is the one episode that tied the entirety of FarScape together. I think Alma Mater may be the same lynch pin for Chuck. I REALLY have to congratulate the writers up to this point, as well, as they've managed to completely sneak an over-all story arc in without me realizing it. Up to this point the series had seemed to be starting off as somewhat episodic and Baddy-of-the-Week (no complaint, actually, as it can take half a season or so for a show to find its stride). And then with the revelations tonight I realized, they've been arcing the frelling throw-away dialog!

    EVERYTHING we learned about Bryce from Chuck over the course of the previous episodes was leading up to tonight, and the twist was brilliant -- Bryce's actions were not out of vindictiveness or self-righteousness as we were led to believe by Chuck's perception -- but out of general concern for his friend.

    Tonight we learned a LOT about Chuck, as well. While there's a great deal yet to be revealed, we've been given hints as to WHY Bryce chose Chuck. I won't go so far as saying that Chuck's aptitude with retaining and picking up on the subliminal messages within images is the entirety of it as some reviewers suggest, although I DO believe it factored into Bryce's decision. There must be some other reason that Bryce believed he could trust the Intersect to him. And tonight's episode left the biggest question still unanswered: Why DID Bryce sacrifice himself to sabotage the Intersect?

    My mind is going crazy with the possibilities. Is there a REAL traitor out there? If Bryce knew or suspected the Intersect was in danger (this has been my theory since Pilot) why did he not tell Sarah? What was with Sarah's pained expression when she left Chuck's room with the disk after viewing it? Did Chuck now know TOO much about himself? Was Bryce's reaction to Casey in Pilot -- and the NSA director's veiled order to kill Chuck once the replacement computer was online -- a hint that he's not to be trusted?

    There are SO many different directions the show can go at this point. I don't know where we're going, but it's going to be a heckuva ride.
  • Chuck has to go back to Stanford to save a top secret government information file.

    In this episode, Chuck is resistant to go to Stanford with big sis Ellie, Captain Awesome, and Awesome's frat bros for the UCLA/Stanford Game. Chuck then thinks back on his last days at Stanford, and, while throwing out his old college memory box, he sees his school I.D. card and flashes on himself. He then is on a quest to find out why he was in the Intersect during his college years. Later, during a mission breifing, Chuck recognizes a CIA recruitor as the college professor that kicked him out of college for cheating. While trying to bring him in, Casey and Sarah tell Chuck to wait in the car. He OF COURSE does not. He sees the professor, and talks with him quite breifly before the professor is killed by an Icelantic assassin's crossbow.He gives Chuck A peice of paper with numbers on it, and tells him to deliver it to Bryce Larkin. Chuck realizes later that the code was a specific part of a shelf in the Stanford Library. Chuck, Sarah, and Casey find a disc in that spot. It contains a list of Stanford CIA recruits. Chuck sees he is on that list. There is an awesome shoot out between team Chuck (Chuck excluded) and some bad guys. In the end, Chuck calls upon the Stanford recruits to help ave the day. Chuck then looks into the disc to discover that Bryce had him kicked out to keep him from going into the CIA, ecause he had "too much heart". We end up seeing Bryce very differently, and Chuck deals with some of his demons from Stanford. There is also a very funny sub-plot involving Morgan's unique form of protest to the totalitarian Assistant manager Regime of Harry Tang. All in all, this episode had alot of action, alot of heart, and alot of jokes. Another Home Run!'
  • Tang is a menace for the Buy More employees while Standford is a menace for Chuck.

    Tang begins his reign as assistant manager, taking the fun out of everything, including channel surfer/naming the show (quick reference to the O.C. there) and eventually sending Morgan to the "Pit" buy a betrayal of one of the Nerd Herders. Meanwhile, Chuck's professor who kicked him out is being hunted down. Despite Chuck's misgivings and general hate for Stanford, he ends up going like we knew he would. Seeing a pit of Chuck's past was interesting, as we finally see why he was kicked out and exactly why Bryce did it. I was generally pleased with the reveal that Bryce was only trying to help. John once again was ripe with one liners "Leave the quips to me" Chuck calling the student CIA operatives was a hilarious turn of events. And Tang calling Morgan pudding, poking him in the belly, and then sucking his finger...oh that had me on the floor. Sarah seeing Bryce again made me worried that the whole Chuck and Sarah relationship wouldn't happen, but next week looks promising. But more on that next week....
  • Chuck goes back to Stanford

    Returning to Stanford, the University that expelled him, Chuck has to help a former professor who is a Government agent. His professoe is being hunted for a sensitive top-secret file he has in his possession. At the same time, Chuck learns much about himself and about the death of his friend Bryce Larkin. We see some of Chucks past memories at Stanford. We also find out why Chuck was choose as the person to get all the files on the government. We find out that Chuck got kicked out of Stanford because he was chosen by the CIA and by his professor to go into the field and Bryce thought it was not a good idea because he has to much heart. Over all it was a good episode.
  • Chuck returns to Stanford University for the first time since he was kicked out.

    Chuck has to return to Stanford to help a former prof in trouble - the same prof that had Chuck expelled from Stanford for cheating. An Icelantic rogue agent is hunting the prof in hopes of capturing CIA secret files which would expose CIA agents recruited at Stanford University over the past 10 years. When the prof is rendered useless by the rogue agent, it's up to chuck to use his past experiences with former Stanford roommate Bryce Larkin. Meanwhile, at Buy More, Morgan struggles to conform to Tang's reign of terror.

    We learn a lot about Bryce in this episode, as does Chuck, that really turns our view of Bryce upside down. Before this episode, I struggled to see what Sarah saw in Bryce initially as, through Chuck's eyes, Bryce was kind of a jerk. Now that we know that Bryce had Chuck's best intentions in mind, I understand completely. We also learn why Chuck was chosen by Bryce.

    Overall, another great episode complements what is quickly becoming the best new show of the 2007 Network Television season. I hope the writers strike doesn't hurt this show, as well I hope NBC sticks by it and orders a second season.