Verkisto has thrown down the gauntlet to write about every episode of Chuck until the new season next March, and I thought I would give it a try. (won't be in script form, I promise. :-D ) Here is my first one, which covers something the show skipped over completely: what happened between the time Chuck walked away from the hotel and when Sarah found him on the beach the next morning. I hope you like it, and please leave plenty of comments, whether good or bad.
CHUCK VS. THE PILOT – THE LONG NIGHT
Chuck makes his way down to the street, looking up at the roof of the building as he passes under it. He glances back and forth, not noticing the menacing man in the suit or the woman who was supposed to be just a blind date. He wasn't even sure how the hell to get home. The Nerd Herd car remained smashed two blocks away. He knew he should report it to the police, but the events of the night pushed that thought far back in his mind.
One does not consider it a healthy thing to walk the streets of Los Angeles at this late hour of the night. But he figured he did enough dancing with the devil tonight where getting knocked over by some petty criminal for the $15 and one nearly maxed-out credit card in his wallet would be almost laughable. He didn't go home like he told the two government agents he was doing. Ellie would almost certainly be waiting up for him, demanding details on his date. He didn't want to tell her anything, nor were his spirits up for her overexuberance that could be enjoyable one day and excruciating the next. He didn't want to tell her what happened tonight because he still didn't believe it himself.
What was happening in his mind was starting to drive him mad. He kept seeing things, knew things he never knew before, and he couldn't stop it. It brought two government agents to his doorstep, neither of whom would appear to think twice about killing him. Ironically, it also stopped him from jumping off the roof of that building. Suddenly realizing that General Stanfield was in danger kicked in some sort of instinct within Chuck. Perhaps it was to regain some control over what was happening to him. It could have been a response to piecing together what was going on in his mind with these images and knowledge he suddenly had. He had no idea it was as simple as doing something right because that's the type of person he really was. People trusted him and liked him. They thought the world of him. Unfortunately, the events of the last four years left Chuck unable to feel that way about himself.
Why did Bryce do it? Why betray his country like that? Certainly he knew Bryce was capable of horrible acts of cruelty, having been on the receiving end of it 4 years ago at Stanford. But never in his wildest dreams did he think Bryce would turn his back on the country like he did. To make matters worse, he involved Chuck in it. Why did he send Chuck that file? Was Bryce expecting him to keep it safe? That certainly wouldn't happen. Bryce had another thing coming if he thought he could trust Chuck to help him commit treason.
He corrected himself. Bryce is dead. There would be no chance to confront him ever again. He ruined Chuck's life 4 years ago and decided to do a sequel two nights ago. There is no way to know now why Bryce did that. He got the better of Chuck once again, and there would be no redemption for Chuck against him.
For the first time in what seemed like hours, Chuck looked at his surroundings. He was at Venice Beach. He had to chuckle to himself: he just acted out a Frank Drebin moment from "The Naked Gun." He walked for such a long time without knowing where he was, and nothing looked familiar when it finally entered his head. He walked along the sand for a short distance, and then he sat down near the water.
What was he thinking, anyway? He thought back to yesterday at the Buy More. Morgan, as good of a friend as he was, had a very unnerving way of getting Chuck out of his comfort zone. Chuck just wanted to work the Nerd Herd desk, fix computers or electronics that came in, and not be bothered otherwise. Of course, dealing with the motley crew of Nerd Herd employees didn't lend itself to that. He should have guessed things would have been a little crazy when "Vicky Vale," as Morgan put it, walked into the Buy More. He couldn't deny it, Sarah was incredibly gorgeous. She seemed very friendly as well; two things that almost never went hand-in-hand with women. He had to admit to showing off a little helping that desperate father record his daughter's ballet recital in the store to save the day. He didn't think he'd get a second chance with the stunning blonde, and the incident with the ninja robber at the apartment put any thought of seeing Sarah again out of his mind. The scary guy he saw earlier today at the Large Mart made matters that much worse.
"I'm not sure if my phone is working or not because…I never got a call from you."
Why Chuck didn't recognize that as just a line was beyond him. It really wasn't even that good of a pick-up line. It was the type of a line that would earn most men a drink in the face had they attempted it. But Morgan, being in full cheerleader mode, deflected Chuck from thinking too much about it. It's very difficult to turn down a date when your best friend accepts it for you. To be fair, the date, for the time it was one, went as well as any date Chuck ever had. She was fascinating, sweet, and she even laughed at his jokes. Out on the dance floor, she was amazing. Chuck never saw anybody so uninhibited yet still in control as she was while they were dancing. He had hoped she didn't see that goofy look on his face when he realized how amazing the night was. He was enjoying himself like he hadn't in a long, long time.
And then she pulled him out of the club.
From there, things flew by faster than he could keep up. The backwards drive in the Nerd Herd car, the menacing black SUV, and the collision. How she stopped the SUV from killing her by activating the emergency barrier with a knife was still fresh in his mind. He was freaking out. She pulled a gun on him, as did the tall agent in the black suit. Their mention of Bryce made things make even less sense, even though Bryce did email him that file. He thought there was no way out. He was running for the edge of that roof.
After that, everything started to catch up for him. He correctly guessed that the NSA had blueprints of the Westin Bonaventure and the CIA found blueprints for the schematics of a bomb. Unfortunately, by the time they got to the bomb, there was only 90 seconds to defuse it. Thankfully, the computer controlling the bomb was one the Buy More sold, so Chuck was able to crash it, courtesy of Irene Demova. Suddenly, he had just saved a few hundred people from being killed.
He sat there on the sand, reviewing the events of the night in his head, and it still didn't feel real to him. He was just any other guy, trying to make his way through this life. Ellie, Captain Awesome, and Morgan spent more than their fair share of time trying to convince him otherwise. They thought he was so much more, that he was so much better than what he thought he was. But he never felt it, sitting in that damn store day after day, barely getting by at $11 an hour.
Now it seems the life he didn't really want in the first place would be taken away as well. He got the feeling he hadn't seen the last of Sarah or the guy from the NSA…was his name Casey? He thought he heard that name at some point. What would those two do to him? Would they really take him away from his family and his friends? That's all he had in life. Losing them was something he could not handle.
He wasn't sure how long he had been sitting on that beach. He felt the sun come up over his left shoulder. This was one of his favorite things to look at. It's easy to appreciate a sunset over an ocean. The true beauty was watching the sun begin to light that same sky over the water. Certainly having the sun rise above the horizon, as if coming out of the water, must have made it even more thrilling, but he was in the wrong part of the country to witness that. But looking at the lightening blue shade of the sky over the water was the only thing that felt peaceful in the last 12 hours.
He can sense someone behind him. At first, he thought it might have been a cop wondering what he was doing out there. When he caught the silhouette of her long hair and shapely frame, he knew it was her. If it was any other guy, they would be thrilled to have such a beautiful woman have an interest in them. But Chuck didn't want anything to do with her. She sits down next to him on the sand.
"How long have you been here?"
"There's nowhere I can run, is there."
She pauses for a second, perhaps to lessen the impact of the words, even chuckling a bit at what he said. "Not from us."
He had to give Sarah credit. She tried to see things from his perspective. She listened to him first, rather than try the fire-and-brimstone approach that Casey almost certainly would have tried with him had he been the one to locate Chuck. He wasn't sure what sort of deal she reached with Casey, but his warning of last night that they needed him seems to have gotten through. He would get to continue living his life, although there would now be a part of it he couldn't tell anyone. She said it was to keep them safe, and that certainly seemed logical. Whatever was in his head dealt with things in this world that were incredibly vital to the security of the country.
"I need you to do one more thing for me."
"Trust me, Chuck."
He turned to look at her. If he were a little more cynical, if he was another person, he might have thought she was asking way too much of him. What had she done to ask that of him? But there was something there. Something beyond the angelic blue eyes, the supermodel body, and the streetwise-but-friendly attitude. There was something that made Chuck believe her when she said she would protect him and keep him safe. As if nothing bad would happen to him as long as she was around. He couldn't put his finger on it, but he had the feeling she saw him as something more than a person with a cache of government secrets in his head.
He just had to not freak out.