Season 2, Episode 16
"Chuck Versus the Lethal Weapon" originally aired on March 9, 2009. When Cole Barker escapes after being tortured by Fulcrum and returns to Castle, Sarah and Casey are assigned to hunt down a scientist code-named "Perseus", who is the mastermind behind Fulcrum's plans to build their own Intersect, Chuck learns that a man code-named "Orion" created the Intersect. Meanwhile, Sarah wrestles with her feelings for Chuck, and Morgan tries to talk Anna out of moving in with him after previously agreeing to move in with Chuck. Four important events happen in this episode of Chuck: 1. We find out Orion is the creator of the Intersect. 2. Sarah admits to Cole she has feelings for Chuck. 3. Chuck refuses to move in with Sarah 4. The viewer finds out Chuck is keeping track of everything to do with the Intersect.
Orion makes his debut in this episode and soon becomes one of the most important characters in the series. This is fitting since Orion is named for the most recognizable constellation in the night sky. In Greek mythology, Orion is a supernaturally strong hunter. In Chuck he is the creator of a supernaturally strong computer program - the Intersect. Chuck learning who the Intersect creator is gives rise to his hopes of removing the program from his brain forever, a theme that will run through all of next season and into season four. When asking General Beckman about Orion, her answers are evasive and Casey and Sarah give each other knowing glances. The viewer is left to wonder if Chuck is, perhaps, the only one who doesn't know the true identity of Orion. The relationship between Chuck and Sarah is somewhat stagnant in this episode, but much is foreshadowed. At the end of the show when Sarah tells Cole she prefers to stay with Chuck versus running off with him, we hear Sarah make a choice. This is the first time Sarah admits to someone else she has feelings for Chuck other than what are required for her job. She is aware throughout the episode of Chuck's jealousy about her and Cole and she says and does as much as she can to save Chuck's feelings. This is the first time the notion of "running off" together comes up. It will come up again in a few episodes when Sarah goes on the run with Chuck to save him from being placed in isolation. The second foreshadowing is at the very beginning of the episode. Now living with Chuck in Ellie and Awesome's apartment, Sarah sleeps in bed with Chuck and wears just a t-shirt and undies (Chuck's t-shirt). Aware he is unable to sleep lying next to her all night, she comforts him by assuring him the apartment the CIA finds for them will have two separate bedrooms. This conversation will come up again in a few episodes when Chuck and Sarah are captured and placed in custody. Chuck tells Sarah if he has to be locked up forever with someone, she's the one he would choose. Then he says perhaps they can request a two bath, two bed cell to which Sarah responds, "Two beds?" The relationship between them will change dramatically soon, and this episode along with the previous, lay the foundation. It also begins to show how in tune to Chuck's feelings Sarah is becoming, something that will cause a major problem for them with the CIA in. Sarah is transitioning from Handler, manipulating Chuck, to lover, manipulating everything around Chuck.
Another revelation in this installment of Chuck is our lovable nerd's refusal to move in with Sarah. Throughout the episode he is struggling with telling Morgan he can't live with him so he can live with Sarah, and we think it's because he doesn't want to hurt his friend. But in truth, he doesn't want to get hurt himself. Chuck is in complete denial at this point that Sarah has real feelings for him. He spends this episode, and the previous, comparing himself to Cole and watching Cole get close to Sarah. When Cole saves Sarah's life by taking a bullet, Chuck's insecurities sky rocket. His only hope is to remove the Intersect and return to a normal, Intersect-free life. When he explains to Sarah that pretending not to care for her is hard enough and that living with her would be excruciating, he also tells her he will someday get his life back and be with the woman he loves. Again, a foreshadowing of what's to come. Sarah's response to Chuck at this point is worth noting. She stares forward, nodding her agreement, with a look of total emptiness. Sarah is coming to terms with her feelings for Chuck and beginning to realize she will need to act on them soon. The final scene of the episode is a revealing one. We watch as Chuck removes the Tron poster from his bedroom wall that was gifted to him by his dad. He writes Orion on the back, adding to an elaborate chart of all things and people to do with the Intersect. In this moment we learn the once slacker who lets life happen to him is no more. Chuck is proactively seeking a solution to his Intersect problem and on the path to his personal maturity. Overall it is a good episode. Not a personal favorite, but important for its revelations.