Season 4 Episode 1

Chuck Versus the Anniversary

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Sep 20, 2010 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
654 votes

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Episode Summary

Chuck and Morgan try to find Chuck's mother, while Sarah and Casey investigate a Russian operative.

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  • chuck online

    is nice

    Scott Bakula was such an awesome Mr Bartowski, who added so much excitement and pathos to Season 3, that I had high hopes for Chuck's mom. Unfortunately, while Bakula has the dishevelled good looks of a retired (and slightly eccentric) astronaut, Linda Barker hasn't aged well, and her role as Mrs Bartowski calls for a lot of close-ups. She's an odd-looking woman, very petite and with completely different colouring to Ellie and Chuck (in fact, I think it's biologically impossible that both ended up with dark hair and olive skin). Barker's face is weirdly masculine, her voice husky and low, and she spends most of her eps in unflattering black wide-leg pants and a leather jacket. This may have worked in the Terminator movies, but in 'Chuck' she's too tough to be persuasive as the mother Chuck and Ellie have been longing for. When she strokes Ellie's face, it looks awkward, and there's no resemblance. It gets weirder in later eps when Mrs Bartowski starts babysitting Clara - it just doesn't ring true. In this episode, the first in which she appears, it's impossible to tell whether she's good or evil (which is obviously the point.) The problem is, she's equally hard and unappealing in both roles. In this and subsequent eps, she barks at everyone, and talks in a husky monotone. She's impatient with Chuck and Sarah for not understanding her motives, and she seems exasperated with everyone all the time. It's not clear why she repeatedly lies to Chuck and puts him in danger, especially after protesting that the reason she's been out of touch all these years is to protect him. Now she has no trouble dragging him right into the middle of her dangerous web. Why entrust him to her MI6 handler "Tuttle," whom she knows (but doesn't tell them) is actually Volkoff, a man she described as a psychopath? While I wept serious tears over the death of Stephen J Bartowski, I couldn't muster a whole lot of emotion over his wife.

    Fortunately, the Chuck and Sarah (and Morgan and Casey) storyline is great. I loved following Chuck and Morgan on their short-lived personal quest to find Mary Bartowski, and the moment they realise Casey and Sarah are in the same Russian Soviet-era munitions factory is classic. It says a lot for the sheer entertainment value of the storylines in 'Chuck' that I'm easily persuaded the characters are in Russia, Thailand or 'Costa Gravas' without an unlimited special effects budget.

    I love the new CIA-run Buy More exclusively run by General Beckman (who is an absolute diamond of a character) and a horde of highly-trained agents posing as sales assistants, half of whom are inexplicably named Greta. It's not remotely plausible; it's 'Chuck'.

    Speaking of whom, Chuck has a new haircut and a tan, and he looks leaner and more classically handsome than the original Nerd Herder. This is appropriate, give what he's been through in the last three seasons. He's now Mr. Bartowski senior, a skilled spy (with or without the intersect), a soon-to-be-uncle and committed boyfriend. The final ep of Season three, in which Shaw was finally defeated and Chuck survived a near neurological meltdown due to a malfunctioning intersect, made Chuck into a bolder, and more capable, serious, and interesting person. It's an absolute joy when Beckman rehires Morgan and Chuck to both the CIA and the Buy More, and the return of Jeff and Lester in episode 2 is the icing on the cake. While I don't find Casey's relationship with his daughter terribly convincing (deep and meaningful father/daughter conversations over cups of tea, when they've only just reunited after twenty-something years?), Casey and Morgan have a real chemistry going on as the American hero and his bumbling sidekick.

    I heard a rumour at once stage that Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman) might play Chuck's mom, but I think that was just a suggestion from the fan base. I have to say, that would have been awesome. She's stunning, with a striking resemblance to Ellie, and Volkoff's powerful attraction to her would be so much easier to believe. She also would have played both the tough femme fatale and the sensitive mother with equal success, I think. Linda Hamilton just doesn't inspire much affection, and I think her character probably should. Despite Linda Hamilton's recurring role, the character functions well as a plot device, allowing for some new and compelling storylines.

    'Chuck' may not be terribly authentic, but it's just so much fun.moreless
  • 4.0 - Strong start. **SPOILER ALERT**

    I really enjoyed the season premiere after having waited all summer. I feel it lived up to its expectations.. No Capt Awesome but that's ok. Also, no Big Mike nor Jeffster...that seemed odd to me. Still a nice new vibe coming and I feel like this is going to be a very intense season!

    Apparently Chuck's mom is a bad a** haha.. Nice appearance from Linda Hamilton and Dolph Lundgren as well. I'll never be able to look at him and not think of Ivan Draggo though. :D Anyways I see no need to breakdown the whole plot here as you will have to watch for yourselves.

    Keep it alive Chuck fans! It's up to us to keep this show going strong so we can be assured that it will return for a 5th season!moreless
  • Loving 4.0 **Have a few spoilers**

    This episode will break you! XD

    What a way to start the new season of chuck 4.0, Fast comady, New characters and a few new suprises on the way, thats what this programe needs to grab more viewers and stay on the air and this episode did just that "hopefully".

    Chuck and Sarah are more loved up then ever but with a new misson they apart alot. The buy more is back with a new boss? and we get to see Chucks mother for the first time and she Kicks Ass 'Terminator' style.

    Great start to season 4.0 and i cant wait till next weeks episode.moreless
  • Chuck is back with a head still full of the Intersect 2.0. He's unemployed, living with a knock out girl friend who's a spy. He's also on a mission to find his Mother, Sarah Connors.moreless

    I'm thinking people have been far too genourous with this show. It's trying too hard to find a way to keep our interest. Viewers have become very TV savvy when it comes to being "played" or catching show writers trying to formulate the right plot. We know the recipie: Throw in a maze, find his mysterious Mother. Throw in some relationship issues with a girlfriend or his sister or his best friend. Throw in a double life and identity crisis - Is he Bartowski playing Carmichael or the other way around. Add some high tech gadgets. A pinch of 'secret organisations'. A bit of humour...and viola!

    Is it me or has Chuck aged 10 years since last season? His hair has gone from geeky drop out in season 1 to mid 30 something. This makes him and Morgan seem immature and inept than lively and carefee. Turning the BuyMart into a CIA hub seems like a stupid idea. Really? In the middle of Burbank? Ellie pregnant seemed predictable. Throwing in the iconic name dropping was OK here and there - but now it's become as subtle as slapstick 'pie in the face'. When I see the 'Repo Man' or 'Rocky' "in-jokes" they seem forced and not so clever. Because I know that his Mother (Linda Hamilton) is bound to make some Terminator reference "Come with me if you want to live..." "I'll be back..." - word to the wise 'please don't'. I'm still hanging in there. This could be the 'jump the shark' season - well Superman Shaw came close.moreless
Zachary Levi

Zachary Levi

Charles "Chuck" Irving Bartowski

Yvonne Strahovski

Yvonne Strahovski

Sarah Walker

Joshua Gomez

Joshua Gomez

Morgan Grimes

Sarah Lancaster

Sarah Lancaster

Eleanor "Ellie" Bartowski

Adam Baldwin

Adam Baldwin

Colonel John Casey

Bonita Friedericy

Bonita Friedericy

General Diane Beckman

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • It is revealed that Chuck's mother is a spy and her codename is Frost.

    • Featured Music:
      "Howlin' For You" by Black Keys (Accompanies the various sexting-related scenes)
      "We're Here To Save The Day" by The Constellations (Chuck and Morgan arrive at the new-and-improved Buy More)
      "In Response" by Peter Wolf Crier (During shooting at the Volkov living building)
      "Generator First Floor" by Freelance Whales (Chuck tells Casey and Sarah what's up with the search for his mom and then as Chuck talks to Ellie in the courtyard)

    • Goof:
      When Chuck and Morgan are on a commercial flight to Moscow as well as Sarah and Casey are being abducted on a private jet there is a map of Europe shown.
      • The map is incorrect with position of two countries. Czech Republic is mislabeled as Austria and Slovakia is mislabeled as Czech Republic.
      • The shape of the real Austria is incorrect because Austria and Slovenia are shown as one country on the map.
      • The shape of Croatia is incorrect because it is shown as two countries on the map.
      • The shape of Serbia is incorrect because Serbia and Montenegro are shown as one country on the map.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Chuck: (while Sarah is about to leaving for a mission) What am I, what do I say? What do we...?
      Sarah: I love you.
      Chuck: That's good. I love you. I like that. I love you, too. Be safe, okay?
      Sarah: Nothing is gonna keep me from coming back to you.
      Chuck: Better not.

    • Sarah: Well, he made a promise to his sister. Chuck doesn't want to be a spy and have to lie about it too.
      Casey: Your boyfriend needs big boy pants. He's a spy. He's good at it.
      Sarah: I know, Casey. You miss him too.
      Casey: What? I don't miss him

    • Chuck (to job interviewer): Snatch me up! I'm 100% snatch-able!

    • Sarah: Where are we?
      Casey: Ugh. Desolation, frostbite. It must be Russia.

    • Sarah: No lying, that was our rule.
      Chuck: In all fairness, I was just, you know, keeping a secret. I wasn't lying.
      Sarah: New rule: no secrets, no lies.
      Chuck: Starting now.
      Sarah: Starting now.

    • Sarah: Have you ever been in a long-distance relationship?
      Casey: No. I either leave or they die.

    • Casey: Good to have you back.
      Chuck: Oh, I'm not staying.
      Sarah: I think he misses you.
      Chuck: Oh, I know he does.
      Casey: Grr.

    • Morgan: I get it, I know. You promised her you weren't gonna be a spy, you know? So she clearly cannot know about our little rogue spy team that we're gonna start here outside of the government, secret to the spy world, team of two, army of one, highway to the danger zone, live free or die hard...
      Chuck: Buddy?
      Morgan: Yeah.
      Chuck: This is not the opening of a TV show. This is real life.

  • NOTES (5)


    • The interview scene with Chuck is at "Vandalay Industries". This is a reference to a Seinfeld episode called "The Boyfriend" where George tells the unemployment office he is close to getting a job with "Vandelay Industries". The spelling in this episode is off by one letter.

    • Harry Dean Stanton playing a repo man is an allusion to the 1984 movie Repo Man where he played the same role.

    • Sarah and Casey have been captured and Marco (Dolph Lundgren) leans into Casey and says "I must break you."
      That line is an allusion to Captain Ivan Drago's (also played by Lundgren) "promise" to Rock Balboa in Rocky IV.

      Chuck, Morgan, Sarah and Casey are in the server room when Marco says on the radio "If you die, you die", which is an allusion to the Drago's statement "If he dies, he dies" in Rocky IV.