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Chuck Versus the Imported Hard Salami
Season 1, Episode 9
Air Date November 19, 2007
Writer Scott Rosenbaum
Michael Miller
Director Jason Ensler
Previous Chuck Versus the Truth
Next Chuck Versus the Nemesis
"Shut it down and grill, this is a hot sandwich, sweetheart, in the reuben family."

Chuck Versus the Imported Hard Salami is the ninth episode of Season One of Chuck. It first aired on November 19, 2007.


Sarah is quietly jealous when Chuck begins dating Lou Palone, owner of Lou's Gourmet Italian Deli, one of the stores in the same plaza as the Buy More. When Chuck flashes on a poster in her shop, it leads to a group of smugglers.

Meanwhile, Morgan develops a relationship with a girl.

Full Story[]

The episode opens in Helsinki, Finland, where two men are walking through a shipping yard late at night, carrying guns. They watch as a crane places a shipping crate marked with the Biohazard Sign on a ship. The crate has a red-LED timer counting down 72 hours.

Meanwhile, at the Buy More, Morgan asks Chuck if he would like to play video games after work. Chuck declines, saying that he will be busy that evening; and explains that he broke up with Sarah. Just then, Sarah walks into the store, and motions for Chuck's attention. Morgan suggests that he beg for her back.

Sarah tells Chuck that she believes that their breakup is a bad idea because it could blow their cover. Chuck is resolute about his decision, so Sarah tells him she might as well sell it and walks off crying. Chuck then tells Morgan about Lou. Morgan appears dejected that Chuck is sharing attention with a new girlfriend when he has none.

Later that evening, Casey and Sarah inform Beckman about Lou. Beckman states that she could be a security risk and demands to know everything about Lou that Casey and Sarah can find out.

Meanwhile, Chuck and Lou are on a date, doing some heavy necking in Chuck's Nerd Herder, before Lou asks him to come inside the deli, where she makes him a custom sandwich. As Chuck is rapturously eating, he sees a poster for an event at Club Ares, and flashes on the host, Stavros Demetrios. Chuck asks Lou about Stavros, and she replies that he is her ex-boyfriend. She mentions that he is very jealous.

Chuck tells Sarah, Casey, and Beckman about his flash on Stavros, a wealthy playboy who owns a nightclub. He is the son of Yari Demetrios, the owner of a shipping business who is suspected of being involved in smuggling. It is believed that they are smuggling a volatile, time-sensitive package, so Casey, Sarah, and Chuck are ordered to find out what it is. Casey tells Chuck that he will have to go to Club Ares with Lou so they can find out about Stavros.

At the Buy More Nerd Herd desk, Lester asks Jeff to check that his breath smells okay because he wants to ask Sarah out. Jeff comments that he likes Anna, who turns around and states that she finds Jeff creepy; and she would prefer Morgan over Jeff anytime. Morgan overhears this.

Lester walks over to the Wienerlicious to talk to Sarah, she calls him Larry, but he asks her if she would like to go on a date. Amused, Sarah responds so aggressively affirmative to Lester's advancements, that he becomes terribly nervous and runs out just as Lou walks by. Sarah calls Lou inside she tells her Chuck is a great guy, fact not opinion, and she tells her not to hurt him.

Lou then goes to the Buy More to bring Chuck some lunch. Morgan introduces himself as Chuck's best friend. Chuck convinces Lou to go to Club Ares that evening with him, stating that he believes that Stavros will find out that he is dating her eventually so he might as well get it over with now.

Later, as Chuck is getting ready for his date, he tells Sarah and Casey that he feels uncomfortable lying to Lou, as Casey and Sarah give him a mini microphone disguised as a guitar-shaped pin and a concealed earpiece. They also give him a red rose, which Casey claims is "to get him laid" after he asks if it another piece of spy equipment.

Inside the club, Chuck and Lou meet Stavros, who takes them to the VIP area to have a drink with him. Stavros talks with Chuck, whom he repeatedly calls "Jack", he comments that Chuck "has a very small a chicken".


On a date with Lou

Sarah starts to worry about Chuck, and Casey suggests that perhaps Sarah has fallen for Chuck, which she denies. Despite Casey's assertion that Chuck is doing fine, she goes into the club to check up. Upon seeing her, Chuck tells Stavros and Lou that Sarah is having a hard time letting go, and goes to talk to her. Lou then walks out on Chuck, claiming that he is spending the whole date hanging out with his ex or hers.

Meanwhile, Anna and Morgan are playing Call of Duty (CoD) at the Buy More. Anna tells Morgan that he is one of the best CoD players she has ever seen. Morgan tries to put his arm around her and kiss her, but she deflects his advance. She tells him that she might have said that she would prefer him over Jeff, but that doesn't mean that she 'likes' him.

At the club, Yari Demetrios walks in, and moves towards Stavros. Chuck flashes on him, discovering him to be a weapons smuggler. Casey orders him to get the transmitter closer to Stavros and Yari, so he tosses his mic onto a serving tray which is being taken over to them, so he can then follow Lou. Casey overhears Yari tell Stavros that they are going to receive a very important time-sensitive package, because if they miss it, they will all be dead. As Lou drives off in a huff, Chuck asks his team, "Is it me or does our government never want me to have sex again?"

The next morning, Chuck tries to call Lou to apologize for their failed date. Sarah walks into the Buy More and finds Chuck leaving another voicemail for Lou. Sarah apologizes for ruining his date; and tells him that while she was investigating Lou, she found out that her favorite flower is Gerber daisies.

During lunch, Chuck, armed with a bouquet of Lou's favorite flower, goes to the deli, but Lou tells him to take a number. There are a lot of other customers in the shop, so he has to wait. When his number is finally called, she still refuses to talk to him, so he takes another number. Finally called, and fed up, he goes behind the counter and forcefully orders a custom sandwich, presents the flowers, and apologizes. She accepts.

Meanwhile, Sarah, Casey, and a SWAT team move in on the shipping container they suspect is carrying the smuggled cargo. The SWAT team finally opens the container, to find that its only contents are a video camera on a tripod recording their every move. Casey knocks it over in disgust. Yari and Stavros are watching the video camera footage in dismay. When the tape ends, Yari produces the guitar pin worn by Chuck the previous evening, and orders Stavros to bring the owner of the pin to him.

The next morning, Sarah and Casey contact Chuck and explain that they raided the container that Yari and Stavros were talking about last night, and it was a set-up, they suspect Lou. Chuck does not believe them until they produce pictures of Stavros and Lou taken after Chuck had left Club Ares.

Back at the Buy More, Lester, and Jeff are making fun of Morgan because he likes Anna. Anna, who is listening in, is not very happy. Chuck, Sarah, and Casey, meanwhile, have followed Lou to the shipyards. Chuck is given a bugged watch and told to talk to Lou. Chuck confronts her after she takes a crate from Stavros and accuses her of smuggling, but when he breaks open the case, all that the crate contains is some imported Portuguese Salami. Lou becomes angry because Chuck has been spying on her. Worried that Lou is incriminating herself with talk of the smuggled salami, Chuck drops his watch into a nearby drinking glass. After being immersed in liquid, Chuck's watch starts to transmit static. Casey and Sarah, listening from the van, do not know what has happened, so Sarah decides to find out, despite Casey's advice that she shouldn't intervene "every time Chuck breaks a nail".

After Lou angrily walks off, Sarah arrives on scene. Just then, Stavros appears with a gun, ties them and puts them in the back of his car. Sarah tells Chuck not to worry because there was a GPS transmitter in his watch. Chuck admits to discarding the watch. Casey, investigating the scene where Chuck and Sarah were abducted, finds Chuck's watch in the glass.

At the Buy More, Morgan is watching a nature program about lone wolves in the TV room. Anna enters and sits down beside him. She comments on how lone wolves are lonely, then gives Morgan Grimes a kiss on the cheek.

Casey says he's an agent from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and confronts Lou. He tells her that he knows about Stavros' smuggling racket, and she could be prosecuted for aiding him; but he will forget about it if she tells him where she receives Stavros' shipments. Lou complies.

At the shipyard, Chuck and Sarah are being interrogated by Yari, who asks them what they know. Chuck confesses to knowing all about his salami smuggling and being "cool with it." Yari does not believe that is all they know, so he orders two thugs to torture Sarah. Chuck, however, flashes on the henchmen and recites some of their history, which leads to a disagreement among them and a standoff. One of them shoots the other dead.

A messenger then walks in to report the arrival of the package, which Chuck flashes on. He believes it to be a chemical bomb. Upon hearing this, Yari decides to kill them, but before he can, Sarah escapes her restraints, pushes Chuck out of harm's way, and a gunfight ensues when Casey arrives on the scene. Sarah unties Chuck, and they run to deal with the bomb, while Casey deals with the smugglers. Sarah tells Chuck to stay behind, but he thinks that he may flash on how to defuse the bomb, so they both reach the container, with only seconds left on the timer, Chuck does not recognize the bomb or flash on how to defuse it. Sarah orders him to leave, he refuses. They argue until the timer reaches 10 seconds. Realizing the futility, Chuck says it was nice knowing her, and shuts his eyes to await the expected explosion. Sarah impulsively kisses Chuck, surprised, he returns her kiss, stopping only when they realize that the bomb doesn't explode. Sarah, glad to be alive, admits that she is now experiencing an "uncomfortable moment". Chuck notes that he's just fine.

The next day, at the deli, Chuck tells Lou that he's really sorry.

Lou Chuck breakup

Saying goodbye to Lou

Lou tells him that she understands because she knows that he works undercover for the Food and Drug Administration; explaining that Casey told her all about him. They decide that they cannot have a relationship due to his undercover work. She asks if he ever really liked her, and he told her she was everything he was looking for, but he can't look right now. They part on good terms.

At the Buy More, Morgan tells Chuck that he has a girlfriend now - Anna. Chuck tells him that he and Lou broke up. Before Chuck can elaborate, Morgan uses the store PA to tell Anna that "it's over." Chuck then tells Morgan that he is going to get back with Sarah. Morgan wonders why Chuck didn't tell him that 10 seconds ago, then attempts to use the PA to apologize to Anna, but she has since disappeared.

Meanwhile, Casey and Sarah return to the bomb location; however, the technician tells them that it wasn't a timer at all - it was a measure of the amount of oxygen left in the container. The container was not a bomb but instead a Human Transport Container. They open the container to reveal Bryce Larkin. As Casey says that he thought he had already killed this man, Bryce takes a breath.

Guest stars[]


  • Sarah: This has an RK-7 mini mic that works up to 20 feet. I want you to keep it as close to Stavros as possible.
  • Chuck: Are you kidding? Are you kidding me with this? I can't wear this. This looks ridiculous.
  • Casey: The alternative is we join you on your date.
  • Chuck: Fine.
  • Sarah: Ear wig.
  • Chuck: It never stops with you people, does it?
  • Casey [hands Chuck a rose]: Aren't you forgetting something, Romeo?
  • Chuck: Let me guess. This is equipped with some kind of microscopic, infrared tracking device that determines her mother's communist affiliations?
  • Casey: No, idiot. It's so you can get laid.


  • Sarah: Go! That is an order.
  • Chuck: No!
  • Sarah: [points a gun at him] I said go!
  • Chuck: I see, so you're going to shoot me to prevent me from getting blown up? Yeah, that's a great plan!
  • Sarah: Why are you so stubborn?!
  • Chuck: Actually, I'd like to consider this a rare moment of courage! I don't know where it's coming from, I guess you just bring out the worst in me.
  • Sarah: And you in me.
  • Chuck: It was nice knowing you. [Closes his eyes, Sarah kisses him vehemently.]
  • Sarah [timer expires]: Well, the good news is we're alive. And the bad news it this that this is kind of an uncomfortable moment right now.
  • Chuck: This is completely comfortable on my end, just saying....


  • Sarah: It's hard to have a real relationship in this line of work.
  • Chuck: Apparently, it's hard to have a fake one as well.


Chuck[to Morgan]: Occasionally, on planet Earth, men will consider their feelings for a woman before jumping atop them.


  • The deli guy said, "He had me at pastrami" echoing Renee Zellweger's line in Jerry Maguire, "You had me at 'Hello'."
  • The make-out scene in the Nerd Herder is reminiscent of the similar scene in Titanic in the car stored in the cargo hold of the ship.
  • Chuck dated Lou little more than one week. Mission logs made by Sarah during the time of this and the previous episode appear in the season 5 episode Chuck Versus Sarah.
  • When Lester made a move on Sarah after her 'breakup' with Chuck, she called him 'Larry' before scaring him off.
  • The sandwich Chuck orders from Lou is a pastrami (end cut no 'lean crap') on seedless rye, with coleslaw on the top, 'lather it on,' then topped with Muenster cheese and grilled.


  • Meredith Bragg - “My Absent Will”
  • Dee Town All-Stars - “Let's Get Crackin’”