Season 1 Episode 3

Chuck Versus the Tango

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Oct 08, 2007 on NBC



  • Trivia

    • One of La Ciudad's body guards is Matthew Willig whose character is credited as Uri. In the season 4 episode "Chuck Versus the Gobbler" Matthew Willig plays Yuri the Gobbler, Volkoff's bodyguard.

    • La Ciudad's two bodyguards firing (full auto) at the door using micro-uzi with a rate of fire of about 1250 rounds/min. After their 10 sec firing there are surprisingly few bullet holes on the wall and the door.

    • La Ciudad's identifying scar changes from a 1" trapezoidal burn in the tango scene to a 3" slash when she reappears in the Buy More plaza.

    • Featured Music:
      "Don't You Evah" by Spoon (Chuck helps a kid/The Herders stay late)
      "Santa Maria (Del Buen Ayre)" by Gotan Project (Chuck and Malena tango)
      "Duettino - Sull'aria (from 'The Marriage Of Figaro')" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Chuck resuces Morgan)
      "The General Specific" by Band of Horses (The Sun rises over the Buy More)
      "Slow Show" by The National (Chuck and Sarah have a heart to heart)

    • La Ciudad translates to English (from Spanish) as "The City".

    • When Morgan attempts to describe Chuck, he tells the hotel employee that Chuck is 6'1", when in actuality, Zachary Levi is 6'4".

    • In Madrid, the Landrover has a California plate.

    • Chuck's full name is Charles Irving Bartowski and he is from Encino, CA.

    • La Ciudad's pistol fires with a loud bang when shooting at John and Sarah through the door even though the pistol has a silencer on it. This is actually much more accurate than the silent "pfft" frequently used in films and television.

  • Quotes

    • Chuck: My life took a little detour senior year when our old friend Bryce Larkin discovered stolen tests under my bed and was kind enough to alert administration.
      Sarah: Did you steal the tests?
      Chuck: I thought it was kind of implied that I'm a decent person!
      Sarah: Well, we all make mistakes.
      Chuck: And I've made plenty; that just wasn't one of them. But, hey, then Bryce sent me a whole database of government secrets that are now locked in my brain, keeping me in a constant state of fear, danger, and anxiety, sooo...I guess we're even.

    • Sarah: The idea with a cover is to keep it as simple as possible without revealing true personal detail. Any thoughts on a name?
      Chuck: Charles Carmichael? Simple, dignified--
      Sarah: Easy to remember, and not far off from--
      Chuck: Graduated with honors from Stanford, runs a hugely successful software company, semi-retired, and is considering entering America's Cup.
      Sarah: You done this before?
      Chuck: Let's just say Mr. Carmichael and I share a small kinship.
      Sarah: How's that?
      Chuck: When I first entered Stanford it's kinda where I envisioned myself now. Except for the sailing part; I don't really know where that came from.

    • Casey: Congratulations, Chuck. You just got your first mission. Tomorrow night. Hope you're ready for the real world.

    • Harry: Where's Bartowski?
      Morgan: On a date with his smoking-hot wiener girl.

    • Chuck: You know, if we were really dating this would be the part where I'd be forced to kiss you goodnight.
      Sarah: Forced? Would it be so bad?
      Chuck: (smiles) I'm sure I could suffer through it.
      Sarah: Me too.

    • Chuck: I'm sorry guys. And Anna.
      Anna: "Guys" is fine, I don't mind.
      Chuck: No, it's not right, we need to come up with something non-gender-specific. How do we feel about "team?"
      Anna: "The little Nerd-Herders?"
      Lester: "The Lesters?"
      Jeff: "Chuck's Stable of Hos?"

    • Chuck: Okay, this is my first foray into major undercover spy work. So, you could ease up on the sarcasm, that would be great. And, how am I supposed to recognize La Ciudad? Is there a picture or something?
      Casey: If there was a photograph, why would we need you?
      Chuck: What did we just talk about?
      Casey: Oh, I'm sorry. We're hoping something at the event triggers a flash.
      Chuck: See, that's all you had to say.

    • Sarah: Don't worry about tonight: no reason to be nervous, I'm not going to leave your side.
      Chuck: Me? Nervous? C'mon, never.
      Sarah: Your hand is a little moist.
      Chuck: It does that when I'm freaking out.

    • Casey: Toughen up. You'll be fine: assuming you know how to tango.
      Chuck: I did some preparation, I wouldn't call myself an expert but...
      Sarah: (freaking out and looking at him) Why would he need to know how to tango? Is that code?
      Chuck: No. Not… no. He told me I'd need to know how to tang...
      (Casey chuckles, Sarah smirks)
      Chuck: (wryly) Spy humor. I like that.

    • Casey: Don't worry. You're gonna be fine. Nothing's gonna happen to you. Assuming you know how to tango.
      Chuck: Seriously?
      Casey: Oh, I don't joke about your life.

    • Chuck: Why are these people sleeping?
      Casey: They're not sleeping.
      Sarah: These people were killed, Chuck, and we would like to know why.
      Chuck: I have no idea!
      Casey: Well, look again.
      Chuck: I would rather not! It's kinda creepy!

    • Morgan: Just wanted to come by and say I'd love to help, but A, I lack the skill set, and B, old computers give me the willies. You have no idea how much courage it's taking just to stand here.
      Chuck: I'm really proud of you, buddy.

    • Harry: Chuck, Big Mike wants to see you.
      Chuck: Not now, Harry. Can't you see I'm with a customer? (Leans over to the kid playing on the video game) I am sorry sir, this is not usually how we do things at Buy More.
      (Harry leaves and Big Mike comes up behind him)
      Big Mike: Now, Chuck.
      Chuck: I was just on my way to see you. That's crazy. (Whispers to the kid) Pause that.

    • (to Sarah and John, who are arguing.)
      Chuck: Mom. Dad. Can we get on with it? I have hard drives to fix.

    • La Ciudad: I think your hand is supposed to be on my hip.
      Chuck: Right. Apparently I learned the girls' part of this dance. Would you mind leading?

    • Chuck: So, dress attire for this evening: sneakers or are we classifying this more as a shoe event?
      Casey: We rented you a tux.
      Chuck: Oh, that's very did you know my
      Casey: NSA, we have records of your rental information on prom night. (Chuck's jaw drops) I checked the suit in your closet.

    • Chuck: Right then, I'm gonna fix some hard drives. Good luck with the spy stuff.

  • Notes

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic - Chuck a tango (Chuck and the Tango)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Latin America: November 21, 2007 on Warner Channel
      Denmark: February 22, 2008 on TV3+
      Turkey: March 4, 2008 on CNBC-e
      Sweden: April 5, 2008 on TV3
      United Kingdom: April 21, 2008 on Virgin1
      Poland: April 22, 2008 on TVN7
      New Zealand: July 2, 2008 on TV2
      Norway: September 1, 2008 on Viasat4
      Greece: October 5, 2008 on Star
      Czech Republic: April 15, 2009 on Prima COOL
      Australia: April 15, 2009 on FOX8
      Germany: September 5, 2009 on ProSieben
      Slovakia: March 14, 2010 on Markiza
      Finland: June 22, 2010 on Sub

    • This episode introduced a new opening title sequence. The theme song is "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" by Cake, although the show uses an edit that features no lyrics.

  • Allusions

    • Morgan: You don't understand he is a fragile little gelding, you know still trying to find his legs the real world will crush him.
      Ellie: Do you know what a gelding is?
      Morgan: (Long pause) It's the... that weird creature from The Dark Crystal. (Impersonates a character from the film) "Smells like Gelding" that... that guy.

      Morgan calls Chuck a gelding when what he in fact means is a Gelfling an elf-like creature from Jim Henson's 1982 puppet fantasy film The Dark Cystal. A gelding is a castrated domesticated animal especially a horse.

    • Chuck having to tango may be a nod to the Arnold Schwarzenegger action-comedy spy film, True Lies, where characters either dance the tango or make reference to it on several occasions.

    • Chuck: It's very Bob Rossian.
      Chuck is referring to Bob Ross, a well known painter who did a PBS show. He specialized in landscapes and had an afro.