What's up, Chuck? We look ahead at the rest of the season

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST
(From left) Jenny McCarthy as Sylva Arculin, Zach Levi as Chuck Bartowski and Andy Richter as Brad White in "Chuck vs. the Suburbs"

All right! Chuck's Chuck (Zachary Levi) and Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) finally get married! Well, not really, but they at least pretend to be married, and they get the rings to prove it in tonight's episode of the NBC spy comedy. The episode, "Chuck vs. the Suburbs," is directed by Jay Chandrasekhar of Broken Lizard comedy troupe fame and takes the star-crossed lovers undercover inside a suburb subdivision, which may just be secretly occupied by a terrorist cell.

"It's fun to watch Yvonne and Zach have to be kind of a normal, regular couple and June and Ward Cleaver inside this sweet, Stepford-like subdivision," co-creator and executive producer Chris Fedak said in an interview. "It's Chuck's dream. I mean, in some ways when Chuck gets out to the suburbs, this is his dream life. The idea of, like, having the girl he loves in a perfect home in the perfect neighborhood. Unfortunately, in this world the perfect neighborhood is filled with terrorists, and the girl you're in love with is a spy who you can't have a relationship with. It is funny and sad. We've got a lot of great action. And we also get a little bit of a glimpse behind the curtain into the world of Fulcrum, the super-secret bad guys that are after Chuck," Fedak said. "The second half of the season definitely kind of gets into who the bad guys are and the kind of big confrontation between our team and them as we head into the season finale."

But before we start talking season-finale time, there's plenty of Chuck left in the season, including a storyline involving Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) and Captain Awesome's (Ryan McPartlin) wedding, which will feature Jeff (Scott Krinsky) and Lester (Vik Sahay), who create a band called "Jeffster!" in an episode called "Chuck vs. the Best Friend." It's a Morgan/Chuck-centric episode, Fedak said, which "gets into the Morgan/Chuck backstory, and we might even have a flashback to when they were kids together. It's all about what happens when Morgan kind of wanders into a spy story."

Then English actor Jonathan Cake joins Chuck in a new recurring role as MI6 agent Cole Barker. "He's a spy, very much out of the James Bond school," Fedak said. "A real lothario, and he joins the team for a series of missions to try and get inside Fulcrum. The problem is that Cole is the type of the guy that Sarah should be with. He's the perfect spy, handsome, debonair, and there is definitely like a chemistry between Sarah and Cole, and Chuck is painfully aware of it. It's driving him a little bit crazy. In the first episode, 'Chuck vs. the Beefcake,' Chuck and the team work with Cole to bring down a Fulcrum team."

In the next episode, "Chuck vs. the Lethal Weapon," Chuck and Cole have to team up to save Casey (Adam Baldwin) and Sarah, only to find themselves competing to see if they can "out-hero each other" to rescue their teammates. And in "Chuck vs. the Predator," Chuck searches for the scientist who created the Intersect, hoping the man can help him get the secrets out of his head. "Essentially, Chuck meets the uber-version of himself," he says.

According to Fedak, this season of Chuck is all about Chuck coming to terms with the fact that his life has changed and "that he's not simply Chuck Bartowski, Nerd Herd supervisor," Fedak said. "He's now also part-time spy. In this back half of the season we're really addressing 'Can Chuck be a spy?' He wants this computer out of his head. He wants his old life back, but he's getting better. It's fun to see Chuck become a better spy than he probably ever thought he could be. It's that tension for him of 'Does he want his old life back? Does he want to be able to have a relationship with Sarah as a normal person, or is he being called to be something greater, to be a hero?'" Chuck airs on NBC on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT.