Season 4 Episode 8

Chuck Versus the Fear of Death

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Nov 15, 2010 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
352 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

In an act of desperation, Chuck agrees to go on a dangerous, and potentially fatal mission with the Agent Rye to try and regain the suppressed Intersect through fear of death. Meanwhile, Jeff and Lester become suspicious of the new Greta and try to unveil the truth the only way they know how and it is up to Morgan and Casey to stop them before thing get out of hand.moreless

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  • At first glance not the strongest of episodes but look a little deeper and you realize it might just be the perfect setup for something awesome.

    In comparison to the episode that was aired two weeks ago this installment of Chuck was at first a little disappointing. The story never seemed to go anywhere and when the episode finished I felt as though it had only just really started to get into the swing of things. But then I looked a little deeper at the episode and things really started to make a lot of sense. I think they have taken this episode as an opportunity to attack some of the core issues with the show. First let's talk about the obvious one, Is Chuck really a spy or a simply a human host for the intersect with a kick-ass spy girlfriend? Though I love the intersect 2.0 and seeing chuck kicking ass along with Sarah and Casey, I have to say he seems more like the intersect's puppet than the spy he was becoming in the first two seasons. He used to have to save the day on his own merit where now he always relies on a Flash. I think this is one of the main issues they are addressing here. It is time to put this argument to bed once and for all and they have done a good job here of opening it up for some kind of resolution in the next episode. I hope that he keeps his intersect 2.0 abilities but I also hope that he learns to rely a little more on his own intellect as well.

    Now the second issue, the Chuck Sarah relationship. Every die hard Chuck fan out there will probably tell you that they were dying to see them finally get together but at the same time that things have been awkward since they have been. This is a result of the fear of the loss of tension the lack of a will-they-wont-they relationship status has caused in the show. The writers don't seem to want the relationship to lose its chemistry but it seems that they have over compensated for this by giving them some problem to clash over in every episode. Again this episode has opened up this storyline nicely and might allow this to be put to bed finally in the next episode. Sarah has finally let slip that she still doesn't see Chuck as a spy and the next episode is where he really has to prove himself to her. Once he has done that and shown that he can look after himself, then they can concentrate on them becoming a team of equals that work well with each other rather than having Sarah constantly being his protector and trying to keep him out of trouble.

    Rob Riggle (Agent Jim Rye) was the perfect catalyst to bring these questions out in the open and I couldn't help but see him as a future version of Chuck; a very confident and successful spy who still had that goofy/geeky/lovable sense of humor. The other story lines in the show were a little less deep, though I do approve of how they are finally starting to dig out some emotion from the previously two dimensional Casey character. It didn't delve too deeply but it was nice to see that while Casey is still Casey, he is finally starting to come around to his life in Burbank. Overall I think that this episode did exactly what it set out to do and that was give us an opening to what promises to be a corker of an episode next week. All I can say to sum up is damn them for making us wait two weeks only to leave us a cliff hanger for another week... I can't wait to see what happens next.moreless
  • It's nice to have a two parter for once...Wait...Did I just get shot?

    Both story lines had funny all over (though this hampered some of the "fear" aspect of Intersect regaining) and it ended with an interesting twist...that for what's seemed like awhile not everything gets wrapped up in the 42 minutes of show.

    Rob Riggle, who I was always a fan of on his Daily Show segments, was a blast here as a CIA agent who was going to use fear, instead of "kittens playing with yarn" to yank the psychological rock off the Intersect in Chuck's mind. His over the top approach was fun to see and I really thought it would work to get the intersect back and working. It was nice to find out this wasn't the case and it isn't something so simple as placing someone in fear inducing situations to get them to remove a psychological block.

    The fact that there was going to be some Chuck and Sarah relationship problems gave me some caution when watching, but since this isn't some silly little problem, it worked well for the story of this presumably only two-parter. Their talk with massaging (nice lack of clothes Sarah!) was the precursor to the sudden reveal that Sarah doesn't really feel he is a spy. I understand why she could feel this, as he needs the Intersect to do the fighting bit, but his mind without the intersect has always been helpful and she initially overlooked it in this episode. Her desire to get Chuck back at the end of the episode was priceless well played by Yvonne.

    Casey considers everyone friends?!?! It was great to hear this confession and it was interesting he was a tad fearful of being reassigned to a tour of duty in hostile territories...because he would miss his friends. I like Alex and I wish we would see more of her!

    The subplot revolving around Jeffster investigating Greta, played wonderfully by a Summer Glau who was channeling a tad more emotional Cameron from the Terminator series, was funny as usual with a great ending. I was beginning to wonder, can the real employees of the Buy More really not find new co-workers with the same name suspicious?

    As for Chuck out in the Alps, I was a little surprised to see him put himself through such a possibly dangerous mission, but there were more than enough hints he really regretted his decision. I think the rock holding down the Intersect is the fact that everyone, especially Sarah, would find him obsolete without the intersect. He shouldn't really fear that, but when Sarah proclaimed that she felt he wasn't a spy, this didn't help.

    Riggle's character's death was funny and fitting over the guy, as I was beginning to wonder why no one was interrupting him. I would have liked to see him again in an episode down the line. The fact that Chuck was captured was a nice that it broke up the norm. Which is why I really enjoyed the episode.moreless
  • The action was good, But...

    I have to be honest, I was incredibly let down by this episode. Sure, The action was good, The acting was good, But the whole premise of this episode was Chuck getting the intersect working again. This concept was promoted throughout the entire episode. It was the entire episode. But, It just never happened. Watching this episode felt like watching some kind of Days of Our Lives episode. Nothing really happened. There were no major developments in any of the character's stories, Hell, Even the Buymore scenes were wishy-washy. I'm glad there was more of a focus on the Greta angle - That was a nice change, But overall, This has to be the single worst episode, Since the whole Cole Barker story.

    Here's to hoping that this is the first and last disappointing episode, This season.moreless
  • Good action and we got a little friction between Chuck and Sarah.

    I actually liked very, very much of this episode. We got everything that makes Chuck such a great show: comedy, action and a little drama that was more than called for this time. Chuck and Sarah's relationship is getting to a point where we need to see them arguing or having a fight, just to get out of the usual 'I love you' that we have been getting latelly. Morgan is so great trying to balance his friendship with Casey and his realationship with Casey's daughter. Casey was hilarious with that itchy trigger finger of his. Made me laugh so hard when he was telling his torment to Sarah. LOL

    Highlight of the episode was the whole action in Switzerland and the death of that agent and the argument by webcam between Sarah and Chuck. And we are left with a big cliffhanger in the end. I LOVE cliffhangers. It leaves us all tingling for next week.moreless
  • Great episode. Product placement was insane.

    This was an amazing episode concerning Chuck and his life without the intersect again. It was well written and Rob Riggle was amazing as he is in everything he's in. Riggle trying to rip the intersect out of Chuck was the best part of this episode. The only reason I rated this episode down was the blatant marketing of Apple and the Iphone. On the lighter side "Jeffsters" investigations into the "Gretas" was amazing. To think that they wouldn't recognize an amazingly hot chick like Summer Glau it naive and the writers played this fact brilliantly. Great episode dragged down by the greed for monees and marketization.moreless
Joshua Gomez

Joshua Gomez

Morgan Grimes

Zachary Levi

Zachary Levi

Charles "Chuck" Irving Bartowski

Yvonne Strahovski

Yvonne Strahovski

Sarah Walker

Bonita Friedericy

Bonita Friedericy

General Diane Beckman

Vik Sahay

Vik Sahay

Lester Patel

Scott Krinsky

Scott Krinsky

Jefferson Barnes

Richard Chamberlain

Richard Chamberlain

Adelbert De Smet aka "The Belgian"

Guest Star

Summer Glau

Summer Glau


Guest Star

Mekenna Melvin

Mekenna Melvin

Alex McHugh

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Continuity:

      Throughout the scene where Chuck is dangling from the Gondola, his hands constantly jump from both grabbing the floor, to one hand on the door.

    • Continuity:

      When Agent Rye is in the Bartowski bedroom and eyes Sarah, she quickly closes her robe. Then the camera view changes to face her directly and she closes her robe again.

    • The mountain gondola says "Bösewicht Berghütte" which is German/Swiss for "Villain mountain lodge"

    • Featured Music:
      "Zero Zero" by Operator Please (Chuck undergoes 31 days of testing to get the Intersect back)
      "Perfect Day" by The Constellations (Jeff and Lester spy on Greta)
      "Towards The Sun" by Alexi Murdoch (Casey talks to Alex about Team Bartowski breaking up)
      "Hiding Place" by Aushua (Sarah in her empty bedroom, worried about Chuck)

    • The gondola going to the chalet where the auction is held is inscribed in German saying Bösewicht Berghütte. Translated this means Villain Mountain Lodge.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Sarah: Chuck, we're talking about real danger now.
      Chuck: I'm sorry, and I can only handle fake danger?
      Sarah: Look, I... I know the Intersect is important, but so far none of Agent Rye's therapies have worked, and the microdot contains highly sensitive information that the wrong people will kill for.
      Chuck: Well, I can take care of these wrong people without you holding my hand.
      Sarah: Why does it make sense to risk your life?
      Chuck: Because it's what I do... I'm a spy.
      Sarah: No, Chuck, you're not. Not right now.

    • General Beckman: And a mission just hit our radar, Agent Rye. I think it fits your bill.
      Rye: Is it dangerous?
      General Beckman: Incredibly.
      Rye: Chance of violence?
      General Beckman: It's guaranteed.
      Rye: Great!

    • Sarah: Chuck is going alone with Agent Rye?
      Chuck: Sarah, the only way I'll be able to flash is if there's no safety net.
      Sarah: Yes, Chuck, but then there's no safety net!

    • Greta: The only question is you wanna die with your wig on or off?
      Lester: Are you talking about my hair?

    • Rye: Ask yourself a question: Are you a spy or are you a guy with a spy girlfriend?
      Chuck: I'm a spy.

    • Greta: This is absolutely the last straw. They put a webcam in my locker. They bugged my price gun. The psychotic one follows me with a video camera narrating the Tracking and Hunting of the Greta Marmot. What does that even mean?
      Morgan: Which one do you think is the psychotic one?

    • Lester: Is it strange that all the new employees have been named Greta?
      Chuck: Strange? What's strange about it? Doesn't seem strange to me... At all.
      Jeff: Who cares, as long as they're spicy.

    • Greta: Colonel Casey, I've admired your work for years, but this outpost and its personnel are unprofessional. And I'm disappointed in you.
      Casey: Listen, Agent Greta. I don't know who you've worked with before or what crew you were on, but this is the best damn spy team in the world. We are strong. So do us a favor, don't let the door hit you in the ass.

    • Rye: But you know the rock is Sarah. Tell yourself you don't need her. And give into the fear.
      Chuck: See I do need her. I love her. And I'd rather have Sarah than the Intersect, so help me up!

    • Sarah: Any luck with the...
      Chuck: Tests? You'd have heard. And by that, I mean you'd have heard my giant sigh of relief, even in Moscow.

    • Morgan: No pressure Chuck, but you gotta figure this out soon. Casey is going nuts! He went over to Alex's the other day to help her move some furniture and ended up staring at her fish tank for an hour. He was muttering something about an itchy trigger finger.

    • (Sarah strolls into the Buy More)
      Jeff: My life would be a never ending Cialis commercial if I had her.

  • NOTES (3)


    • Chuck and agent Rye mentioned loving Star Trek. Executive producer and director of this episode Robert Duncan McNeill was a star of Star Trek Voyager.

    • When Col. Casey is talking to Greta in Castle he says "I don't know who you've worked with before, or what crew you were on..." Those lines are an allusion to the canceled show "Firefly" which Summer Glau and Adam Baldwin played crew members on a spaceship. The writers of this episode in fact admitted to being Firefly fans and hoped to drop an allusion or two into the script.