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Chuck Versus the Three Words
Season 03, Episode 02
Air Date January 10, 2010
Writer Allison Adler
Director Peter Lauer
Previous Chuck Versus the Pink Slip
Next Chuck Versus the Angel of Death
"The reason Sarah is cold is because she loves you. Now, get your head out of your ass and go be a spy."

Chuck Versus the Three Words is the second episode of the third season, which aired on January 10, 2010. It is the thirty-seventh episode overall and was the second half of a double bill.


With Carina (Mini Anden) back in town, Chuck flashes on her fiancé, Karl Stromberg (Vinnie Jones), identifying him as an arms dealer. Chuck is assigned to a new mission with Sarah, Carina, and Casey, but Chuck is still working on clearing the air with Sarah.

Meanwhile, Big Mike is back to manage the store, and Morgan tries hard to reacquire Carina - then turns her down.

Full Story[]

The initial scene shows a man sprinting through the woods while holding a briefcase. The man trips and is intercepted by a large man with a scar on his arm, along with a few goons. The scarred man then shoots the runner and takes the briefcase. His phone rings, and he answers with the words "I love you, Smooshie", which is a source of much amusement for the other men. The scarred man glares at them, signaling them to stop, and he shoots the injured man in the head.

Sarah is then seen in a club with DEA agent, Carina. Carina presses Sarah about her relationship with Chuck, which Sarah is cold about due to the situation in Prague. However, Carina sees through Sarah's stonewalling, and realizes that she has fallen for Chuck, breaking the "cardinal rule" of spying, which Sarah quickly denies.

Chuck and Morgan are seen in their apartment playing video games, and Morgan accuses Chuck of moping about his breakup with Sarah. In an attempt to remedy this, Morgan suggests they go out clubbing to find Chuck a new lady. Chuck is initially trepidation, but Morgan assures him he doesn't have to fall in love, and the two find themselves in the same club as Carina and Sarah. Chuck approaches and greets the women, Sarah asks if he's spying on her, a charge he truthfully denies. At that moment, the large man from the opening scene enters, and immediately approaches Carina, who introduces him as her fiance, Karl Stromberg. Chuck flashes, and realizes he is an arms dealer. Believing Carina's relationship with him to be real, he attempts to warn Carina, who explains that she knows and that he is the team's next assignment.

In Castle, Beckman briefs Chuck, Sarah, Carina, and Casey on the situation. She explains that Carina is undercover as Karl's fiancée as an attempt to get close to him, because he has been wired a substantial amount of money in exchange for a weapon in his possession. She tasks the team with retrieving the weapon at Carina and Stromberg's engagement party and suggests that Chuck and Sarah pose as a couple. Carina suggests that Casey should pose as her father, which Casey objects to, suggesting her brother would fit his age more appropriately. Beckman compromises and instructs him to pose as Carina's uncle at the party, which Casey interprets as Dad's much younger brother.

Chuck and Sarah arrive at the party, and Chuck attempts to talk to Sarah about what happened in Prague. Sarah coldly refuses to talk about it. Carina intercepts Chuck and warns him to get it together, and that Sarah is only being so cold because she loves him. Chuck is clearly a little stunned by the assessment and tries to talk to Sarah about it. Stromberg then begins a toast, which provides an opportunity for Chuck and Sarah to leave the main hall and head for the vault which contains the briefcase holding the weapon. Chuck, clearly confused by what Carina has told him, again attempts to talk to Sarah about their situation, which slows their progress, resulting in Carina calling Casey, or "Uncle John" up to make a toast to buy time. Sarah and Chuck reach the vault, and Sarah promises Chuck they can talk once the mission is over. Chuck seems satisfied, and Sarah open the vault, revealing a mass of moving red lasers protecting the briefcase at the back of the room. Chuck panics, but Sarah successfully calms him down, allowing him to flash so that he can execute the gymnastics necessary to navigate through the laser grid. He then proceeds to work his way through the lasers, much to Sarah's amazement, before grabbing the briefcase at the back and sliding it toward the door, but he accidentally triggers an alarm as he picks up the case at the door, just as he is about to leave, locking him inside the vault. Gas then begins to fill the vault.

Stromberg sends two goons to investigate the break in, as Sarah tries to pick the lock to the vault to free Chuck. It does not work, so she enters a ventilation shaft above to turn off the gas and save Chuck. Chuck, not knowing what Sarah is doing and believing he is about to die, confesses his feelings and his love for Sarah to the guards on the other side of the door, who are unaware Sarah is in the ventilation shaft above them. Sarah successfully shuts off the gas and drops her lipstick through the shaft to distract the guards after they enter the key code to unlock the vault. As the guards look down, she ambushes them, quickly dispatching them and pressing the enter key on the vault, unlocking the door. Chuck collapses into Sarah's arms and finishes his speech with the words, "I love you."

Sarah and Carina are debriefed at Castle, with Chuck lying on a gurney in the room next door undergoing treatment for gas inhalation. Chuck wakes up without Sarah knowing, and listens in. Sarah requests a reassignment, claiming she may be more of a problem than a solution to Chuck's emotional turmoil. Beckman denies her request and orders her to continue to mentor Chuck. Sarah realizes he has been listening in, but remains cold, and tells him it is time to begin his training.

In the dojo, Sarah begins training with Chuck, allowing her anger at him to get the better of her. She begins to attack him with a wooden bō staff, and tries to goad him to fight back, Chuck refuses. Sarah, angry, knocks Chuck to the ground, and demands to know why. Chuck says he doesn't want to hurt her, but Sarah states that he can't.

Cut to the Buy More parking lot, and Carina is walking over to her car, and spots Stromberg arriving. She flees as it is revealed that Stromberg suspects Carina's involvement in the stealing of the weapon. Carina enters the store in an attempt to lose Stromberg, and Morgan believes she has come to see him. Instead, Carina hands him the briefcase containing the weapon, telling him to give it to Chuck as soon as he sees him. Morgan, with no idea of the gravity of the situation, nevertheless agrees on condition that she attend Chuck and Morgan's housewarming party. Carina agrees to attend, but is captured by Stromberg, who plays her a recording of the CCTV footage from inside the vault. It shows Chuck, believing his death is near, revealing his feelings for Sarah, and unintentionally blowing Carina's cover.

Casey, Sarah, and Chuck soon discover that Carina is missing, and convene at Casey's apartment to discuss the situation whilst Morgan hosts the housewarming party in the courtyard. Stromberg arrives at the party with his goons and Carina and pushes into Chuck's apartment to find the weapon. Morgan has no idea what is going on and believes that Carina brought her boyfriend to his party.

Morgan, Jeff and Lester conspire to incapacitate Carina's "date" by getting him and his men drunk on Jeff's highly alcoholic "Jail Juice". The two men stand up to Stromberg, challenging him to a drinking contest, before filling two cups with the Jail Juice. Carina covertly spikes the drinks for Stromberg and his men, but they decline to take part. Lester drinks from one of the spiked cups, and immediately collapses. Jeff explains that Lester has a low alcohol tolerance and takes a drink himself, but then, he too collapses. Stromberg realizes that Carina had tried to drug him, angering him further.

Morgan then enters after having alerted Chuck to Carina's presence at the party. He angrily confronts Carina, citing how badly she has treated him, and not grasping who Stromberg and his men really are. He then starts on Stromberg, who moves to kill Morgan, but Carina saves his life by reminding Stromberg that they cannot deal with a body at this moment. Morgan, furious at Carina, defiantly hands over the briefcase to Stromberg, which he had hidden inside the coffee table. She tries to get Morgan to leave, but he refuses, telling her that her beauty doesn't give her the right to treat people so badly. After demanding she leave the apartment to no avail, he drinks the spiked Jail Juice and passes out himself. Carina is surprised by the fact that he rejected her, claiming that no one has refused her before. Chuck, Sarah, and Casey, hurry out of Castle.

Casey notes how many lives are at stake if the party continues, and so poses as an angry neighbor, fed up with the noise from the party. Using a hose, he soaks the party goers, who soon evacuate the courtyard. Chuck and Sarah, meanwhile, prepare to assault Stromberg's men, Sarah with guns and Chuck with a tiki torch. When the men enter the courtyard, a standoff situation occurs as the guards draw their weapons. Chuck persuades Sarah and Casey to drop their weapons, then throws the tiki torch into the central fountain, which had been filled with "Jail Juice," a highly flammable alcoholic mix concocted by Jeff. An explosion occurs, causing enough of a distraction for Casey and Sarah to take out Stromberg's men. However, Stromberg still has Carina and the weapon. Chuck attempts to reason with Stromberg, saying he understand Stromberg's situation, and Carina backs this up by playing on Stromberg's love for her and explaining that although it was at first just an assignment, she had fallen for him. Stromberg believes this, letting his guard down long enough for Carina to quickly dispatch him.

Later at Casey's apartment, Chuck eyes up the briefcase with interest, and almost opens it before Beckman interrupts his attempt via video call. Chuck offers to try and flash on it and learn any new information it might hold, but Beckman shuts his offer down, claiming she has sent a team to retrieve it, before ending the video call. Cut to Beckman's office, where she pleads with an unknown man to allow her to inform the team of the full situation due to some kind of unknown danger. The man, whom she identifies only as Shaw, leaves without answering.

At the end of the episode, Carina slept with Morgan, saying that his refusal of her was sexy. He quizzes her about his performance, and she states that he wasn't the best she'd ever had, but she'd had very few better.

After the housewarming party, Sarah helps Chuck clean up when Morgan refuses, and the pair finally begin to talk after Chuck's failed attempt from inside the vault. Chuck does not, however, realize that Sarah heard little or none of his speech from inside the vault. Through metaphor, the pair agree to sort out their issues at a later date.

Carina later approaches Sarah in Castle, regarding her offer of a holiday. Sarah politely declines. Carina says farewell, before handing Sarah a memory stick. When Sarah asks what it is, Carina tells her to take a look, then leaves. Sarah plugs it into the computer and opens the file, which is an excerpt of CCTV footage from inside the vault. It is Chuck's frantic explanation of his feelings for Sarah when he thought he might die, something Sarah did not hear at the time. She wells up as she learns that Chuck only turned down her offer to run away together because she had previously encouraged him to be a spy herself, and because he felt it was the only way to protect his family, friends, and Sarah. Essentially, he became a spy because he loved her.

Guest Stars[]


  • At the end of the episode, as Carina and Sarah make their goodbyes, Carina says "jag kommer att sakna dig, kompis", which is Swedish for "I'll miss you, mate," Sarah replies in Polish, "Stęskne się za tobą też", "I'll miss you, too."
  • The addendum to Stromberg's toast "and may our first child be a masculine child" might be a nod to Luca Brasi's similar line in The Godfather.
  • Morgan describes Carina to his co-workers as a "Swedish supermodel," referencing the real-life profession of Mini Anden.


Morgan: Our lives are incredible.
Chuck: Yeah. Incredibly average to sub-par.


Chuck: Sarah I don't want to regret not telling you everything I need to tell you! I'm not a normal spy. You know that, I know that. I'm a regular guy who works in Buy More and the decision I made in Prague.... Look Sarah, I know you were probably very hurt.... probably hurt that I didn't run away with you in Prague, I get that, I'm sorry. You have to know you were everything I ever wanted. But how could I do that, how could I be with you knowing what I turned my back on? Knowing that what I have in my head can help a lot of people. And you're the one that taught me that being a spy is choosing something bigger it's about putting aside your own personal feelings for the greater good, and that's what I chose...Sarah, I love you.


Beckman: This whole mission rides on you, Chuck.
Chuck: What a surprise.


Carina: Los Angeles has all the cultural panache of a Porta Potti.


  • Maino – “Here Comes Trouble”
  • David Guetta Ft. Akon – “Sexy Bitch”
  • David Lee Roth – “Just Like Paradise”
  • In-Flight Safety – “Model Homes”