Chuck: Episode 1.7, "Chuck vs. the Alma Mater" Recap
Chuck: Episode 1.7, "Chuck vs. the Alma Mater" Recap
It's Bryce Larkin time!  Chuck went back to Stanford tonight to face his past.  I was wondering if Chuck's past and Bryce's involvement in the ongoing plot would reveal itself over a long period of time or whether they'd just reveal it all in one fell swoop.  Well, they revealed everything tonight – Chuck's expulsion from Stanford, Bryce's true intentions, and the CIA's full involvement. 

We begin with a lecture by a professor discussing encoded image, subliminal images, etc.  We see how one picture can contain hundreds of embedded images.  The professor sees a man in the back of his lecture hall and freaks out.  He runs to his office, calls someone and says that he made a mistake, copying images that weren't his.  He disappears into his closet.  The henchman guy that the professor saw busts in to the office, wielding a knife.  The professor has escaped through a underground passage in his closet.

Back to the Buy More, Morgan alerts Chuck that there are spies around the store: Tang's minions.  Morgan shows Chuck the new list of rules for the break room made by Harry Tang.  Harry's power has gone to his head.

Chuck is summoned to the theater room and is given a briefing with Sarah and Casey.  They show the professor, Fleming, from the beginning.  He's a CIA asset.  He was also Chuck's college professor.  They haven't seen him since he disappeared, and they ask Chuck to help with finding him. 

Chuck comes home to find all of Captain Awesome's frat brothers hanging out – they're caravaning up to Stanford for the UCLA – Stanford football game that weekend.  Captain Awesome offers Chuck a ticket, but Chuck declines.  He's had too many bad memories there.  Chuck looks at some pictures and...

We flash back to 2003 with Chuck back at Stanford.  He's packing up his stuff – he's been kicked out.  He asks Bryce why he did this.  Bryce tells him he did it to himself.

Back to present day, Chuck looks at his old student ID and he flashes on himself.  He's in the intersect.  Sarah and Casey have no idea why he's in the intersect.  Chuck wonders if Fleming might know.  The CIA identified the man hunting Fleming – he's an Icelandic agent.  Chuck agrees to go search for him.

Harry Tang's reign of terror continues.  Staggered lunches, strict recycling, no fraternization.  Tang tells Morgan he's going to break him. 

Casey shows Chuck an image they found of Fleming driving a car in Hollywood.  He's in LA, Casey got a read on the car he's driving, and they're off to find him.

We go to another flashback, this time of Chuck being summoned into Fleming's office.  He's told that the answer key to the mid-term, which Chuck aced, was found in his fraternity room.  Chuck is devastated, caught completely off-guard.  Fleming wants to know who how he broke into his office. 

Casey, Chuck and Sarah arrive outside the house where they believe Fleming to be.  Chuck waits in the car while the other two go in to extract Fleming.  Fleming, however, has been at the grocery store and walks by Chuck, who goes out to meet him.  Fleming is kind to Chuck and figures out that he's in the CIA now.  Chuck asks Fleming why the CIA had a file on him at Stanford, but before Fleming can answer, he's killed, shot dead by the crossbow of the Icelandic henchman.  Before he dies, Fleming hands Chuck a piece of paper with a code written on it and tells Chuck to give the code to Bryce Larkin.  However, the henchman takes the piece of paper, notes Chuck's name tag and walks away.  

Chuck, back at his house, is joined by Sarah and Casey.  Fleming isn't dead, actually, but is going into surgery.  Chuck doesn't remember the code, and neither Sarah or Casey know why Fleming would want to contact Bryce. 

Ellie wants Chuck to go to Stanford, but Chuck wants nothing to do with Awesome's frat buddies.  Ellie found an old library book (The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire) in an old box and wonders if Chuck wants her to return it to the Stanford library for him.  Chuck says no and takes it for himself. 

Another flashback takes us to the Stanford library, where Chuck and Bryce have a fake shoot out with dart guns.  He remembers that Bryce use to stash things at the library and figures that Fleming's code was probably a location for a book in the library.  Chuck remembers, kind of, where Bryce stashed his stuff, but he's going to have to be there.  He has to go back to Stanford.

Chuck, Sarah and Casey arrive at Stanford in the middle of a really lame tailgating session.  They join Ellie and Awesome briefly at the tailgate, before heading to the library.  Chuck is having a difficult time being back – he hates Bryce. 

The three enter the library with fake student Ids.  The security guy sees Chuck come up on his little TV and calls in his appearance to somebody, saying they have a situation.  They find the row of library books where Bryce hid his stuff, but Magnus has already been there.  However, Chuck has a little flashback and realizes that Bryce hid his stuff underneath the shelves.  Chuck pops open a hidden case and reveals a disc.  They have the intel now.  However, Magnus (the henchman) is spotted.  Chuck runs out of the library, while Sarah and Casey go after the Icelandic henchman.

The three are spotted by a group of henchman and run into an academic building.  They head to a lecture hall and load the disc onto a computer.  It's full of video interviews with prospective CIA recruits.  There's a 2002 interview with Bryce, and a 2003 interview with Chuck.  Right as Chuck is about to watch his interview, the henchman arrive and begin shooting at them. 

Chuck escapes to another room during the shoot out, and begins calling people who are on the disc, thinking they work for the CIA.  Whenever he says “Are you coming to the toga party?” (a CIA code told to him by Fleming), the Stanford student on the other end responds quickly, running away to somewhere. 

Magnus enters the room with Chuck and shoots his bow at him.  Chuck narrowly ducks out of the way.  The reinforcements Chuck called come to the rescue, both for Chuck and Sarah and Casey. 

Chuck, Ellie and Awesome return to LA and their apartment.  Chuck places the disc into his computer.  Sarah watches it with him. 

Fleming turns to the camera and says that this is Chuck Bartowski's first interview, but the Chuck interview actually doesn't happen – Bryce walks into the room instead.  Bryce found out that Fleming had put Chuck on the CIA track because of his test scores.  Bryce knew that Chuck wasn't cut out for the field and didn't want the government using him for any projects (in this case, The Omaha Project).  Chuck was chosen because he was able to retain 98% of subliminal imagery, which also explains perhaps why Bryce sent the intersect to Chuck.  Bryce figured that the only way to save Chuck would be to invalidate the test scores, and accuse him of cheating.  Bryce is actually a good dude.

Chuck is now devastated, and wonders if Bryce had a good reason for doing all the things he did before he died.  Sarah is also very emotional after seeing the tape.  We get a final flashback to Chuck and Bryce's first meeting at college.  They talk about Zork and a girl who likes Everquest.

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of NBC)