"Chuck" Chuck Versus First Class (TV Episode 2010) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • Shaw sends Chuck on a solo mission to Paris, over Sarah and Casey's protests, where Chuck meets a beautiful woman and flashes on an assassin en route. Morgan gains an unexpected ally in dealing with Jeff and Lester at the Buy More.

  • CIA agent Daniel Shaw assigns Chuck to his first solo mission in Paris, ignoring Sarah and Casey's wishes. During the flight to France, Chuck befriends Hannah and flashes on another passenger - the imposing Hugo Panzer. Meanwhile, Casey helps Morgan battle Jeff and Lester for control of the Buy More.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Morgan (Joshua Gomez) walks through the Buy More, noticing the looks of disdain from his fellow employees. He heads into the break room, opening the door with an oven mitt to avoid the old hot doorknob trick. Lester (Vik Sahay) is giving him the silent treatment and, worse, appear to be sitting in Morgan's usual chair. Jeff (Scott Krinsky) hands him a cup of coffee which Morgan accepts, sniffs, then returns to Jeff, telling him he prefers regular old creamer over a laxative.

    Seems nobody is happy Morgan has moved up in the world, but he announces to them he knows all of their usual pranks and tricks, so enough with the sabotage. He asks Lester to move from his chair and, as he declares he won't fall for any of it, sits in a seat filled with glue. As everyone leaves the room laughing, Morgan screams at them to get Chuck (Zachary Levi).

    Out in the store, Chuck asks Casey (Adam Baldwin) if he's found out anything more about you-know-who down in Castle. (That would be Agent Shaw.) Casey says he's too busy for Chuck's shenanigans and if he has a problem to ask Shaw (Brandon Routh) himself, since he's living in Castle. Casey then lets on whenever a Special Agent takes over an operation it's a nightmare, and includes a review. Sarah's in there right now. Chuck wonders what they're talking about.

    Cut to Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) and Shaw chatting about Chuck in Castle. Shaw wants to know if he's a real spy, because according to mission reports, sometimes he's James Bond, and others, he's a walking Jerry Lewis movie. Shaw needs to know if Chuck is a liability.

    Chuck is appalled the review is about him. He's afraid he'll never escape this espionage mess if Shaw thinks he's just some dumb civilian who accidentally got a computer dumped into his head. Cue Morgan, still glued to his chair, rolling in and sharing his woes with Chuck. He doesn't know how to combat Lester's evil cabal of tricksters, and he hasn't gotten an untainted cup of coffee in days. "I need my free coffee, dude," Morgan whines. Casey shares if he had five minutes running the Buy More, "they'd be ready."

    "Ready? Ready for what?" Morgan asks.

    "The Russians," Chuck wisecracks. Casey gets paged. Chuck begs for Casey to put in a good word for him, and Casey informs Chuck that Shaw is, in fact, asking for him.

    Downstairs, Chuck tries to plead his case with Shaw, who promptly shuts him up by reminding Chuck it's his meeting. After a pause, Shaw stands and acknowledges the team has been dysfunctional for the past two years, and he's figured out what the problem is. "It's these two," Shaw says, pointing at Casey and Sarah. Say what?!

    Shaw has concluded they've been coddling Chuck, which has not allowed him to evolve as an agent. Chuck suddenly agrees, "Let me out of the car!" he declares. Sarah insists he's not ready, but Shaw ignores her and announces he's sending Chuck on his first solo mission. Undercover. In Paris. "Are you ready?" Shaw asks.

    "Absolutely," Chuck says with confidence.

    Shaw walks Chuck out to the Buy More floor and hands him a pen. Not just any pen, a KGB-issue tranquilizer pen. Aim it at the target's food or drink, click once or twice, the target consumes said food or drink, and it's nap time. He orders Chuck to test it on Jeff, assuring him Jeff, who might as well be a walking drug lab, will be fine. Chuck walks over to Jeff, who has a cup of coffee in front of him. He engages Jeff in mindless conversation, which makes him suspicious, but while Chuck reassures him he's able to add a bit of spy pen to Jeff's coffee. Chuck returns to Shaw, who tells him he's ready. Chuck can't believe it, but Shaw assures him Chuck has been on more missions in two years than most spies see in a lifetime.

    Meanwhile Morgan, seeking an untainted cup of coffee, swipes Jeff's and takes a sip. He declares the rest of the crew has to get up pretty early in the morning to....and drops like a sack of potatoes.

    In Castle, Sarah and Casey debrief Chuck on his mission and tell him his cover, good old Charles Carmichael. Casey pokes fun at him for carrying nunchuks, and Chuck explains while he hates guns, he thought it would be good to have some kind of offensive weapon, just in a case.

    Sarah asks Casey to excuse himself so she can have a moment with Chuck, and once again begs him not to go, saying he needs more time. Shaw interrupts them, declaring once again he's ready and Beckman agrees. He hands Chuck a specialized phone and tells him to head out to his car, waiting outside. Chuck is thrilled to be flying first class, until he realizes the CIA probably does that for everybody. And he's off.

    Chuck lands in first class next to a beautiful woman named Hannah (Kristin Kreuk). He nervously introduces himself as "Chuck -- Charles but my friends call me Chuck" and enjoys a glass of champagne with her. Hannah makes a game of profiling the fellow first class passengers: she guesses a couple are dignitaries, he sees a few nerds and guesses they're on the Yale fencing team. Then she asks Chuck what he does. He sells her a line about selling high-end merchandise.

    Meanwhile, back at the Buy More, Casey happens to stumble across Morgan, who has been locked in a Super Claw machine with stuffed animals while he slept. He yells to Casey to let him out, and with a grumble, Casey does. The employees gather around to laugh at Morgan until Casey turns around and audibly growls at them, making them scamper away in fear. Morgan observes Casey commands respect from them and Casey corrects him: "No. I take it."

    Charles Carmichael and Hannah are enjoying another drink at the bar, and Hannah notices Chuck (who orders a martini, shaken not stirred) doesn't seem to fly first class much. Chuck tries to cover, saying he's done the L.A. to Paris run tons of times. Hannah explains she works for a private investor who flies her around to solve major computer problems. It's a pain, she says, but it allows her to have an apartment in Paris. Hannah spots another passenger,a muscular guy (Stone Cold Steve Austin) and asks Chuck what he thinks his story is. Chuck looks at the guy and, sure enough, flashes. He quickly excuses himself from a very confused Hannah and heads to the bathroom to call Shaw. Before he can say anything, Shaw asks if he's flashed yet. Chuck asks Shaw how he knew he would flash. "Because you're mission's not in Paris," Shaw replies. "Your mission is on the plane."

    Chuck's quarry is Hugo Panzer (Steve Austin), a Ring agent moving a CIA crypto key to Paris. Chuck has to get into the cargo hold and get his ticket, so he can get his bag and the key. Chuck wonders how he's going to do that, given Panzer is built like a brick house, and Shaw reminds him he gave Chuck the pen for a reason. Trank Panzer, get the ticket, get the back and retrieve the key. Sarah warns Chuck of how dangerous Panzer is.

    Once they hang up, Sarah berates Shaw for giving Chuck a mid-air mission for his first solo run. Now they can't even help him. Shaw replies this is the perfect way to see if Chuck really is a spy. Sarah questions who Shaw is, since neither she nor Casey has ever heard of him, and Shaw only tells her he likes his secrets. Something she should understand as the daughter of a con man, he snipes. He then confronts Sarah about a missing three days in her file, three days after Chuck went into training in Prague, and she went off grid and was spotted in Lisbon. She tells him it's not what he thinks, and he retorts he doesn't know what to think. Is she a double agent? A spy? Or...does it have something to do with Chuck?

    On the plane, Chuck sidles up to Panzer and claims his seatmate is bothering him. He sits down next to the guy and decides to get talkative. Panzer puts in his earbuds, and Chuck slides up the screen to get privacy. He moves to do the crossword, putting his pen over Panzer's cocktail, but it doesn't deploy. "It's the air pressure," Panzer says, explaining pens don't always work on planes because of the air pressure. He reaches over to help Chuck with his pen, and a stream of knockout juice hits Panzer in the face. Panzer realizes the pen contains no ink, and grabs Chuck by the throat. "Who are you?" he demands, and fortunately for Chuck, another stream of drugs shoots right down Panzer's throat on the "you." He struggles for a moment, then passes out. Chuck praises the KGB, kisses the pen and grabs Panzer's ticket.

    At the store, Morgan confronts Casey in the break room, asking him for a favor. "Not interested," Casey grumbles. Morgan pulls rank, reminding Casey he's his superior. He tells Casey he can't fight Lester and the gang on his own, they don't follow any rules. Casey grins excitedly. "Insurgents," Casey whispers. "I hate insurgents."

    "Then this will work out, I think," Morgan whispers back.

    On the plane, Chuck gains access to the baggage hold and searches for Panzer's luggage. Shaw informs Sarah he's right about his theory on her and Chuck. While he pushes his assets to perform, she protects him. Just like he's right about this mission, Shaw concludes. Sarah reminds Shaw the mission isn't over yet. And that's when Panzer's Ring-issued wrist monitor, noticing his low blood pressure, awakens him with a stimulating shock. Panzer snaps to, discovers his ticket is missing, and heads down to the hold. Chuck finds Panzer's bag, which isn't a bag. It's a casket. He calls Castle and relates the info to Shaw, who praises Panzer's ingenuity -- customs won't check the body closely. He tells Chuck to search the casket, find the key, and hangs up. Chuck opens it up and struggles to get over being grossed out by a dead body. He searches the corpse, discovering the key taped to the palm of the dead man's hand. Chuck retrieves it just in time for Panzer to step out of the elevator.

    Frantic, Chuck calls Sarah's phone, but Shaw warns her not to answer or she'll be keeping him from being a real spy. If he really has the key, he explains, then he has no reason to call. Panzer's taken care of, after all.

    Oh, overconfident Mr. Shaw. The highly ambulatory Panzer is closing in on Chuck, who thinks fast and gets inside the coffin with the dead body. Chuck calls Casey and fills him in on the situation and asks what to do. Casey replies, "You get taken." (Very Liam Neeson of him.) He elaborates: Chuck has hidden in the single dumbest spot he could have possibly stashed himself, so when the agent discovers him, scream like a wimpy banshee so the guy doesn't think he's a threat, then find a weapon and flash. What if he doesn't flash? Chuck asks. "Then you're dead. So flash," Casey concludes. Panzer throws open the casket, and the last thing Casey hears is Chuck's girly scream. Casey hangs up and calls Sarah, letting her know Chuck has been taken.

    On the plane, Panzer punches Chuck in the gut, and Chuck scrambles away from him. He sees a long bag marked Yale and unzips it. Inside are swords. Those guys really were on the fencing team! Convenient, too, since Panzer's a blade man. He pulls out a sinister-looking edged weapon, and Chuck stares at the foil, praying fencing is in the Intersect.

    It is. Turning to Panzer with a confident "en garde," he lands a few blows and parries, slicing a strap at a time on the luggage netting. Eventually he disarms Panzer. "You missed," the villain sneers. "A lot." Oh, did he? Chuck slices one more strap and the luggage comes tumbling down on the Ring agent, knocking him out. Chuck calls Castle to inform them he's still alive and the mission was a success. Then he finds other straps and moves in to restrain Panzer.

    In the Buy More video room, Morgan introduces Casey as his new lieutenant. He informs the staff if they want to continue misbehaving, they'll have to deal with Casey. He invites anyone who wants to stop attacking him to leave the room and go about their business. Two thirds of them leave, recalling Casey and what Morgan only refers to as "the volleyball incident." Casey then lights up a cigar, over Jeff's protests smoking isn't allowed. Morgan informs them Casey is allowed to smoke...but maybe he should put it out. Casey stubs out the cigar on his palm. Everyone else leaves but the still-silent Lester and Jeff, who wants to leave but is held back by partner in crime. Jeff informs Morgan, on Lester's behalf, that this isn't over.

    Back in the first class cabin, Chuck enjoys a drink with Hannah, who gets him to admit he's never been to Paris. Apparently people who fly first class aren't particularly excited about anything, and Chuck is exceedingly stoked about the City of Lights. Finally, he admits he works at the Buy More in Burbank and, to maintain his cover, he's flying to Paris to recreate a home-theater install he did for a client in L.A. Hannah then admits her secret: She was fired, and is flying back to Paris to officially empty out her office. But she says it's OK, because meeting Chuck almost makes it worth it.

    Returning to Burbank, we see Lester in bed, suddenly awakened only to have Casey chloroform him. When he comes to, he's tied to a chair in front of a large screen TV with a flashing red light. Casey softly speaks to him, brainwashing him into accepting Morgan as his boss.

    On the plane, Hannah and Chuck continue to share a friendly conversation about the Buy More, and Chuck sips a martini. Suddenly he realizes he never ordered another drink, the one on the arm of his seat suddenly just appeared. Hannah appears to be sweetly confused as Chuck begins to pass out. She asks if he's OK. She playfully says he looks like he's been poisoned. He glances at the seats around him and spots Panzer, smiling at him and raising a glass in his direction.

    He heads off to the bathroom and calls Castle for instructions. Sarah tells him to throw up, but he doesn't think he can. A flight attendant knocks on the door and asks if he needs help. He cracks the door and tells her she doesn't want to come in, and she sticks a gun in his face. She tells Chuck she has the antidote to poison, and if he wants it, he needs to give her the key. If not...well, first he'll feel queasy, and in an hour, intense pain. He denies having the key, and she punches him in the stomach. He tells her he hid the key in the cargo hold.

    Meanwhile, Shaw calls in an order to use a satellite to take control of the plane, assuring Sarah that Chuck isn't alone.

    Chuck and the Ring agent go down to the hold, where Panzer is waiting for them and socks Chuck in the gut one more time for good measure. Chuck tells her in order to hand over the key, he has to get authorization from his boss. The spy attendant has Chuck call Shaw and put him on speaker phone. Chuck does so, and the woman informs Shaw if he doesn't allow Chuck to give up the key, she'll shoot him. Shaw informs her he's fine with that, much to Chuck's dismay. Shaw asks the woman what kind of poison she used, and she tells him it's a cyanide hybrid. Shaw recognizes her voice, and the poison, and calls her by the name Serena (Josie Davis). He assures Serena if she lets Chuck go, he'll let her and Panzer slide on this one. They refuse, so Shaw has Sarah take control of the plane. Sarah shakes it enough to maintain the illusion of turbulence, also to toss the Ring agents off their feet and allow Chuck to snag the antidote. He gulps it down as the Ring agents get hit in the head by luggage. Then Chuck retrieves his nunchuks, flashes and gets ready to take on the enemy, but both of them are already knocked out.

    Chuck reports he's OK and has the key, but is disappointed he wasn't able to use his nunchucks. Back at Castle, Shaw reassures Sarah he always makes sure his agents are OK. He lost one once, and vowed to never do it again. He asks her again about Lisbon. Sarah answers she took Bryce's ashes there to scatter them, following his wishes. It was the site of their first mission together. Then she tells Shaw if he wants her out, to talk to Beckman and get her reassigned. Shaw assures her he doesn't want that, he just wanted to make sure The Ring hadn't gotten to her. "And now do you believe me?" she asks with tears in her eyes.

    "Every word, Sarah," Shaw gently replies.

    Chuck lands in Paris and Hannah checks in with him. She invites Chuck to spend a couple of days with her so she can show him the Eiffel Tower. He delightedly agrees, and as he's getting up to disembark with her, his phone rings. It's Shaw, telling him the Paris team will take custody of the Ring agents and send their compliments. Also, he is to remain on the plane and return home with the key immediately. The mission is over.

    Dejected, Chuck breaks the news to Hannah, who can't believe he's not going to join her in Paris. Then he tells her if she's desperate for a job and ever finds herself in Burbank (for God only knows what reason) to look him up since Morgan owes him a million favors. He gives her his card, and she smiles and leaves. As the plan takes off again, Chuck stares down at the Eiffel Tower as the plane begins its return flight.

    At the Buy More, the mention of Morgan's name to Lester all but makes the poor guy drool and declare Morgan Grimes is the kindest boss ever. Morgan watches in awe and asks Casey how he did it, but Casey doesn't tell. "Plausible deniability," he says.

    Upon returning to Castle, Chuck hands over the key and Shaw brings out a strange flat oval case he says contains all the intel a former agent inside retrieved for him. The key opened the container, revealing a series of discs. Shaw says with that info, they may have a chance. While they're looking at the discs, Shaw also discovers a small envelope and walks away with it. Sarah follows him and asks what's inside. He hands it to her, and Sarah opens it to discover a diamond ring.

    Shaw tells Sarah it belonged to an agent killed by the Ring five years ago, Evelyn Shaw. Eve. "We both made the same mistake, Sarah," he tells her. "We fell in love with spies." Sarah hands the ring back to him and leaves.

    Upstairs at the Buy More, a happy Morgan comes over with Casey and informs Chuck he gave Casey a raise. He asks Chuck what happened on the install and Chuck says, "Nothing. Nothing at all." Casey declares he's bored and walks away, leaving Chuck to stare at a small Eiffel Tower charm. When he looks up, he sees Hannah standing in front of him. She smiles and waves.

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