Chuck
Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger

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"That Guy Might Think He's a Hard-Ass, But I'm The Intersect"
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

A few things Chuck wants us to know: Chuck wasn't the first Intersect. Agent X was. And he became Alexei Volkoff. Whose daughter has control of a crazy weapon called the Norseman, which she tried to kill Sara with last week. Now it's "Five Days Ago." Chuck and Sarah are in bed, being adorably nervous about their upcoming wedding, which is exactly one week away. They freak out. Then they freak out some more, because: What if it's cold feet? Chuck's sure it isn't, and thinks they should try out the wedding on their own: a dry run with no people or cameras around to make them nervous. Chuck: "Practice makes..." Sarah: "Perfect. We'll be ready for anything."

But they couldn't have prepared for this. Close-up of Sarah's ring as she's wheeled into the hospital on a stretcher. Chuck fills in Ellie and Awesome: the poison is Thorium. Ellie says that's a radioactive metal, not a poison and wonders the form: It was liquid. Ellie asks Awesome if he has any ideas, but he says poison guns aren't in any textbooks. They put Sarah in a tub of ice, which helps her for now. But Ellie and Awesome need to know everything about this poison. And they need an antidote. Morgan comes in and joins everyone else who's gathered (Casey, Chuck's mom...). He says he told everyone at the rehearsal that it was food poisoning and she'd be all right. Then he wonders if that's true. Chuck holds her hand when she wakes up a little and tells him he looks worried. He lies that it's about the wedding, and she tells him: "Don't freak out." They talk sweetly until she drifts off again, at which point Chuck tells Casey they have to break in to the maximum security prison that Volkoff's in and get him out; he's their only hope.

Prison break. Casey and Chuck, disguised as guards, make their way in with the help of Mary back at Castle, who's guiding them and shutting off alarm systems along the way. But when they get to Volkoff's cell, the door's open. Not a good sign. And he's gone. When Chuck asks Casey where he is, a voice tells Chuck "He's gone, Bartowski." Mary wonders what's going on. Casey says he knows that voice and he goes pale, which worries Chuck more than a little. Casey asks Chuck if he remembers Casey telling him about the guy who they'd hire to put a bullet in all their heads without breaking a sweat? "This is the guy they hire to kill that guy." Chuck turns to a TV monitor in the cell (convenient!) to find Richard Burgi, a CIA guy named Decker, who tells Chuck that his CIA resources are revoked for breaking in. Chuck tells him he needs to save Sarah, but Decker has no sympathy. "Stand down or get buried." Chuck says no, and uses a chair to smash the TV. He turns to Casey and says, "That guy might think he's a hard-ass, but I'm the Intersect." No room for the Cake opening this week; too much good stuff to pack in.

Chuck calls Ellie at the hospital, who tells him that Sarah's breathing on her own and in and out of consciousness, but at the rate her body's shutting down, she only has about twelve hours to survive. He gets off the phone and Casey tells Chuck and Mary that "she's here." I'm not sure where "here" is, but "she" is General Redhead, who pulls up in a black SUV with tinted windows. She tells the current members of Team Bartowski that Decker's transporting Volkoff to a site outside of Phoenix and that no one who's gone inside it has ever come out. Chuck says they need to intercept him in transit, but General Redhead says they're an hour ahead of them on the freeway. So they'll need something fast. General Redhead tells Chuck that if he does this, he's going against the CIA and will have to go on the lam with Sarah and never see his family again. He looks at his mom, but says he'll do anything necessary to save Sarah. General Redhead gives them her keycard into Castle. Once there, Chuck says he wants the Nighthawk. Mary doesn't approve, and even Casey says it's never been tested. Chuck doesn't care; it's the only thing fast enough to get him to Volkoff. Turns out it's a super-fast (250 mph on the highway) motorcycle. When Mary asks if he's ever even ridden one -- "and I hope to God the answer is no" -- he flashes on how to ride.

Then he's riding it as fast as he can, while Mary and Casey monitor from Castle. Mary, like a real mom, tells him he's driving awfully fast. Inside the Volkoff transport truck, Decker comes in and greets the prisoner. He tells him this transfer isn't about killing him; the CIA just wants him for some testing regarding Agent X. Volkoff looks confused or disinterested, so Decker wonders if he's playing coy or if he really doesn't remember any of this. He tells Volkoff his real name is Hartley Winterbottom. Volkoff (who's wearing a prison suit with a number -- 121196 -- on it; what is that? a date?) laughs and says no one is named that. Hee! Decker says Volkoff is a fictitious profile he created with Stephen J. Bartowski. Chuck approaches the back of the truck as Decker pulls out some sunglasses and says the tech boys want him sans Volkoff. He puts the glasses on him, and Intersect-ish flashes flicker. Then he hangs his head. Chuck tells Casey and his mom to "light it up." Apparently they control the weapons from back at Castle, because Chuck's bike starts shooting up the truck until it stops. Then he shoots one more crazy fireball that opens the back of the truck. Decker's knocked out, so Chuck frees up Volkoff. But when he wakes him, Volkoff has no idea what's going on. Chuck locks Decker in Volkoff's cell before he wakes. When he does, he tells Chuck that's not Volkoff, since he removed the Intersect. Volkoff asks Chuck if he's related to Stephen J. Bartowski. Chuck says that's his father, and he's coming with him. Volkoff (I guess I should start saying "Hartley") worries about the dangerous motorcycle, but climbs on. And screams like a baby as Chuck speeds away.

Casey's apartment. Hartley, looking in a mirror, can't believe it's been thirty years. He sees Casey's Reagan picture and asks if he's still in charge. Casey scoffs: "If only." Hartley asks what Volkoff did for thirty years, but Mary doesn't answer. He asks what kind of man he was. Mary tells him he was very successful in a highly competitive business. Volkoff thinks there's more to it than that if someone's used the Norseman. Chuck interrupts and says they don't have time for this; his fiancée has been attacked by the Norseman. Hartley explains the Norseman: a weapon he and Stephen had worked on to achieve peace through violence. Casey thinks Reagan would be proud. Chuck asks if there's an antidote, and Hartley says there is: Iridium 5, which he can easily make. They head to the hospital. On the way out, Casey says they'll discuss their plans for "Viv" once they've saved Sarah. Hartley wonders who Viv is, and Casey says a woman named Vivian used the Norseman on Sarah. Hartley asks Chuck who Vivian is, because it's a Winterbottom family name. Chuck (whose hair is looking awfully Ken Doll square these days, by the way) admits that she's Hartley's daughter. Hartley can't believe it, especially since she's Chuck's enemy. He asks Hartley if he'll help him save Sarah so they can begin to clean up all the mistakes that were made. Of course Hartley will.

Hospital. As the antidote is inserted into Sarah's IV, we flash back to Chuck and Sarah's "dry run" a few days earlier. Chuck gives Sarah crap about her vows only being on one sheet of paper, but she says she covered all the bases. He tells her to go ahead and say them, and he'll give her notes later. She starts in: "Chuck, you're a gift. You're a gift I never dreamed I could want or need and every day I will show you that you're a gift that I deserve. You make me the best person I could ever hope to be, and I want to spend, and learn, and love the rest of my life with you." Chuck's gone from smug about her one page to completely moved. She asks if it was talky, but he tells her it was perfect, hugs her, then says his own are ridiculous now. She tells him not to freak out, because whatever he wrote will be perfect too.

Back in the hospital, Ellie says that the Iridium 5 isn't working. It's slowed down the poison, but that's it. So they bought more time, but still need to find a way to save Sarah. Chuck wonders WTH to do, and Mary says Volkoff was working on a project a few years back called "Lead Apron." Chuck: "Which is a way to protect against radioactive poisoning." Hartley says he must have known Iridium 5 was weak, so he developed Iridium 6. Chuck asks what the time frame is, and Ellie says "a day, maybe less."

The gang heads outside; Casey says he'll call in a favor for some guys who'd be happy to give them a ride to Volkoff's headquarters in Russia, because they love mixing it up with the Reds. But Decker and his guys come out then. Decker tells Chuck he might be the Intersect, but he's not bulletproof, and they all draw guns on him. Chuck flashes and takes a couple guys out, but two others shoot him with a taser. Casey and Mary just watch on horrified (and they're surrounded too).

Hospital. Morgan tells a sleeping Sarah hilarious stories about Chuck being a hero. He tells her the point of the story is that Chuck never gives up, which she already knows.

Chuck's in a holding cell, begging Decker to let him save Sarah, who's CIA just like Decker. He just wants to get the antidote. "One last mission, that's all I'm asking for." Decker fires Chuck instead, and says Operation Bartowski is done and the Buy More's for sale. Chuck wants to just be let go then. But Decker wants one more thing from him first, because it's CIA property. He pulls out glasses that he says are a suppression device, which should only hurt "a lot." A couple of CIA guys hold

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Chuck

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