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Chuck Versus the Suburbs
Season 02, Episode 13
Air Date February 16, 2009
Writer Phil Klemmer
Director Jay Chandrasekhar
Previous Chuck Versus the Third Dimension
Next Chuck Versus the Best Friend
"You better be careful, Sarah, one day you might actually turn into a real girl."
― Chuck

Chuck Versus the Suburbs is the thirteenth episode in season two, which aired on February 16, 2009. It is the twenty-sixth episode overall.

The episode was originally supposed to air after Chuck Versus the Best Friend. The airing order was swapped in the U.S. due to the show being preempted for a Presidential speech, and since "Suburbs" has a Valentine's Day reference, it was aired on the week of Valentine's Day.


Beckman sends Chuck, Sarah, and Casey to an L.A. suburb, Meadow Branch, with Chuck and Sarah posing as a married couple to investigate the last location of an injured agent.

Meanwhile, Big Mike is introduced to internet dating after his divorce drives him to became more angry than usual and forcing the Morons to actually work.

Full Story[]

At Buy More, the Valentine's Day spirit is high, but Big Mike is taking his anger out on everyone, because his wife served him with divorce papers.

General Beckman provides the team with a gratefully received mission - to go into the deep into the suburbs to discover what agent, Jim Yeager, had been doing that left him a mental wreck and confined to a hospital facility. Chuck and Sarah have to pose as a married couple for this mission and set up housekeeping in a Meadow Branch suburban cul-de-sac. Chuck tells Ellie that he will be house-sitting with Sarah, and she responds with excitement.

Chuck enters the cover house to see his faked life in photos. There are wedding pictures, vacation pictures, and he even has a Golden Retriever. Sarah is in the kitchen mixing together salad and has apparently invited the neighbors over. There is a gregarious and apparently friendly bunch outside around the grill, about ten couples, all of whom play meet and greet with the new neighbors. One of the ladies, Sylvia Arculin, has her eye on Chuck. She invites him over any time.


The following morning, Chuck goes downstairs, and to his astonishment, Sarah has cooked him breakfast. She has his travel coffee, and even gives him grocery list. He later discovers there is a message on the back of his grocery list written in invisible ink. Sylvia's 'husband' was a former CIA agent, who planted a bug on them and had been found to have purchased specialty cabling enabling him to break into secure government websites. The mission is for Chuck to get close to the former CIA agent by pretending to take Sylvia up on her offer of a tryst.

When he presents himself at her house, Sylvia takes Chuck up to her bedroom and takes off his trousers, then handcuffs him to the bed. Chuck grabs the cuff key with his toes and frees himself. In the next room, he finds Cliff's cabling. There is a computer that asks for a password. Chuck figures that it must be salamander, it was the only word that Yeager kept repeating, and he types it in. There is an Intersect type test download, which leaves Chuck briefly incapacitated.

Cliff Arculin rushes home and asks his wife if Chuck has been tested yet. She tells him no, but she has him handcuffed to the bed. As they head upstairs, Chuck gets and gets out of the house across the roof in his underwear. The Fulcrum agents note that he ran the test and are shocked Chuck survived it.

Sarah watches Chuck's escape across the cul-de-sac and his arrival at 'their' house. She slaps him for the benefit of all the witnesses. General Beckman pulls Chuck out of danger so that Sarah and Casey can focus on the Arculins; "The Carmichaels are getting a divorce." Chuck cannot make sense of the information that he received.

At Buy More, Jeff, Lester, and Morgan try to get Big Mike a date over the internet. After he sees some ladies online, he decides to go through with it. Morgan and Lester insist he lie in order to get good dates, and they fabricate a story that Big Mike is a wealthy shipping magnate.

Chuck finds a Meadow Branch brochure in his locker, and flashes it, something he had not done before. He sees that the entire cul-de-sac is a Fulcrum cell. He tries to tell Sarah, but it is too late. The neighborhood has captured Sarah and Casey. Upon his return to the cul-de-sac, Chuck, too, is taken.


Chuck is strapped to a chair and Sarah is confined in another room. The Fulcrum agents try to get Chuck to join them and are planning to see if he can survive a full upload. They are trying to rebuild the Intersect program; apparently, they think that the government had given up on their own Intersect. None of the other subjects tested had survived the experiment, it either killed them or drove them mad. Chuck tries to get them to let Sarah go; Sylvia guesses that he has feelings for her and mocks him.

Chuck is then subjected to a full version of the Fulcrum Interest test, an apparently unpleasant experience, and he emerges as an apparent catatonic. After a moment's disappointment, the Fulcrum agents are startled when Chuck snaps back and asks what just happened. They ask Chuck if he's okay with them running the experiment on his wife, he tells them he hasn't got a wife.

Meanwhile, Casey has escaped and enters the control room. Chuck spots him and asks to have a few words with 'Agent Walker' after she is strapped in to the test chair. He quietly tells her to close her eyes, Casey then enables the same test to run, Sarah and Chuck keep their eyes tightly shut as he hugs her to him, but all the Fulcrum agents, in the test room and unprotected, collapse in agony. The Fulcrum test incapacitates or kills everyone in the room except for Chuck and Sarah. Casey then supervises the capture of the three surviving Fulcrum agents.

At Buy More, Big Mike tells his internet date the truth about who he is. It turns out that the woman had lied as well, and thought that he found out, and that is the reason why he wanted to meet at the Buy More. The Buy More is where her son works. Mike is heard to whisper a desperate plea that it is Bartowski. It is, however, Morgan.

Guest Stars[]


  • Jeff uses the term "Skinjob" when he, Morgan, and Lester are speculating as to Big Mike having been replaced by a robot double. This is a reference to the feature film Blade Runner (1982), where the term is used as a derogatory tag for the androids known as "replicants" within the film.
  • Chuck strapped to a chair and forced to keep his eyes open is similar to the Ludovico Technique from A Clockwork Orange.
  • Chuck warning a restrained Sarah to protect herself from the Fulcrum Intersect by closing her eyes tightly, while the Fulcrum agents are all killed or incapacitated by it, is a nod to the ending of Raiders of the Lost Ark during which Indiana Jones similarly protects Marian Ravenwood from the power of the Ark of the Covenant.
  • The house used for filming the interior and exterior scenes of this episode can be found at 25673 Walker Place, Newhall, CA [1].
  • When Sarah ate strawberries while Chuck ate the omelette Sarah prepared for him, it is similar to the scene in Smallville, Season 10, Episode 7, when Clark and Lois went downstairs after having slept together, and Lois slowly eats a strawberry.
  • The computer used in the underground Fulcrum Intersect test facility runs Linux. Casey runs the program using the following commands:

usr/local/bin chmod +r+w-arun ts -als processrun init.fish_seq-a.*

  • Evidently the Fulcrum Intersect is a group of files under the name init.fish_seq.a
  • Interestingly enough, the command "chmod +r+w-a" is invalid since it takes read and write access from everybody. Doing so would have prevented Casey from even running the program in the first place. Unless, of course, chmod was modified from its original purpose and Casey knew beforehand to do so.


Morgan: Did you ever think that the two of us would wind up with smart, beautiful, sexually adventuresome girls on Valentine's Day?
Big Mike: The answer is no. Two jackasses like you landing two hot pieces like Anna and Blondie? It's a cruel trick of nature.


Sylvia: Mr. Carmichael... I didn't expect you to come so quickly.
Chuck: Charles Carmichael always comes quickly.


Chuck: Look, Mike, I don't know, it's up to you, but do you really want to be part of a relationship that's founded on lies?
Morgan: [to Mike]: The answer's yes.
Lester: Yeah, absolutely.


  • Talking Heads – “Once in a Lifetime”
  • Johnny Nash – “I Can See Clearly Now”
  • Cassettes Won’t Listen – “Freeze and Explode”
  • Peggy Lee – “Fever”