Season 4 Episode 1

Chuck Versus the Anniversary

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Sep 20, 2010 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

Write A Review
out of 10
654 votes
  • 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.

    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.
  • 401

    A pretty solid premiere, we got the regular ol' Chuck back for a new season. After the amazing two part finale, it was hard to be impressed with this episode but to my surprise, it was really good. The episode and probably the whole season is focused on Chuck trying to find his mother. He continues to lie to Ellie, Sarah, and Casey.

    There's a new BuyMore, and it is now just for the CIA base, and we got to see the general up close and personal. The thing that was definitely missing were the supporting characters at the BuyMore, or Devon for that matter. In a premiere, everyone is supposed to be around. In the end, Chuck and Morgan end up in the same place Casey & Sarah do.

    Sarah ends up finding out about Chuck trying to find his mom, they get out of the situation alive, Chuck becomes a spy again, lies to Ellie again, Ellie's pregnant, and we learn that Chuck's mom didn't abandon them, she was captured. And it looks like Chuck takes after his mom with the fighting moves she put on at the end of the episode.

    An eventful solid premiere with some humorous and dramatic moment, although it felt like it was missing something.
  • season premiere

    good start to the season i reckon. sure, it could have been beter, considering the finale was freakin' awesome. but it was good. the sexting sub-plot was probably what made the episode so great, and it made up for the lack of jeff and lester. With chuck the sub-plots do tend to steal the show, and i do like that. im not too keen on the whole finding his mother thing, i hope it doesnt become repetitive. but i've never been disappointed with the writers of this before.. everytime something happens i think will ruin the show, they tend to come through.

    i do think that now that chuck and sarah are this perfectly happy couple, the show might lose a little drama.. but i'm sure they will work with it.

    and chuck keeping the spy thing a secret from ellie makes up for the fact that everybody now knows chuck is a spy, i guess. but i still think they let it out way too soon.

    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.
  • chuck online

    is nice
  • I loved it, but I think it should have been called: "Chuck vs. the Public Transportation!" :-)

    It's great to see the team together again on the small screen. The repo-man situation was hilarious, but the subsequent use of public transportation was also a believable real life yet funny consequence for that situation. The Jury's still out for me as far as the new Buy More goes although you definitely can't complain about the scenery!!! (I mean Jeff and Lester were funny but please, no complaints here on that change), I think the "NEW" Jeff and Lester will also have some comic moments:
    Hot CIA Girl: Would you like a tour of the store?
    Morgan: Yes I would. Should I hold your hand? Hot CIA Girl: NO you should NOT!
    The whole Morgan sexting thing was also hilarious and OMG I'm still smiling over Sara's kicking the bad guys butt, while still strapped to a chair and the subsequent stretch to reach the dropped phone and texting with her toes. I personally don't know why Chuck couldn't have waited a couple more minutes to finish the file download before popping the EMP and killing the power to the building, but hey it was in the script, but again, the public transportation get away was hysterical! Linda Hamilton kicking butt at the end was perfect! I mean come on she took on the Terminator I think she can handle these clowns ,LOL, and does. Go Sara Conn-na' All in all looks like a great start to a new season! Thank you network for keeping our favorite show going and keep up the great work ! I for one will keep watching! :-)
  • chuck is back


    chuck is back for its fourth season and even though i expected more since in its past its delivered on some really great season premieres. chuck is out of the spygame but of course by the end of the episode hes back in. chuck searches for his mother but has to destroy the evidence to find her with an EMP to save casey and sarah. by the end you see chucks mother who goes postal on the bad guys maybe emplying she has an intersect too? anyways good bad and great time.

    the good: exciting moments like the parachute jump off the sky scraper, and the excellent shootout scene with only flashes of lights from the bullets to streak light through the screen. chuck's intersect is still better than ever having him take down ten guys with weapons. the bad: the concidence of chuck ,morgan, casey, and sarah all being in not only the same place but same building also was just too stupid. feels like its going back to being light and fluffy like it was in the first season which isnt exactly a good thing due to the show falling into a dark attitude from the second and third season which set a great mood for the show. no jeff, lester, or big mike.

    the great: the sexting scenes where morgan cant take the hint. the buy more being back and being better than ever with it finally being a full CIA centre which will probably be some exciting future storyline
  • 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.
  • Good episode, not my favorite by far though. Looking forward to the character development on both Momma Bartowsky & General Beckman.

    For a premier episode this one really didn't do it for me. It was good in the normal Chuck way, but it didn't go above and beyond like the season finale did. The rebuild of the BuyMore was great, expecially having the CIA being in charge is wonderful too. Beckman has always been a favorite character that hasn't been explored too far. I can't wait to see what they do with her in the future. Otherwise the story line was pretty much like the past. Sarah & Casey get stuck, Chuck saves them with the wonder that is the intersect... However with the introduction to Momma Bartowsky, I know we haven't seen anything yet. I am also looking forward to the new addition that Devon has yet to find out about.
  • 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!
  • Give thanks to TPTB!

    Way to start the season off with the distinct feel from the first epidode of the first season!

    Chuck really started off strong, and ratings aside, it is all the fans could ask for. It is a terrible shame that NBC, in their infinate wisdom, decided not to promote the show as heavily as they did for the season 3 premiere, because this episode would have been worthy of the hype.

    It was well paced, good plot, very funny and light-hearted. Everything Chuck is known for.

    Let's get down to it shall we?

    Chuck as Morgan:
    Still the best bromance on the air. Definitely better as spies together than apart. Actually they are more funny together than good spies, but it is all good!

    Sarah and Casey:
    Don't mess with these two folks. They have guns, knives and parachutes. Also they are certified badass.

    Sarah and Chuck.
    S*xting anyone?

    Ellie and Awesome:
    Yay for Ellie. Awesome was absent this episode, and i am sure some laughs were missed with him.

    Buy More:
    Is back baby! It is all shiny and new, with gadgets and Beckman!

    Buy More Crew:
    AWOL. How will Big Mike, Jeffster and the other fit in to the shiny new store?

    Chucks Mom:
    Linda Hamilton. I need not say more.

    Warm and Fuzzies anyone?

    This review came all the way from New Zealand, so enjoy!