Chuck is currently on the third season. They started in 2007 and have been going strong since.
Chuck Versus Santa Claus
Chuck Versus the Colonel
"Chuck Versus Santa Claus" is the eleventh episode of the second season of Chuck, and the 24th overall episode of the series. The episode was directed by Robert Duncan McNeill and written by Scott Rosenbaum. It originally aired December 15, 2008.
The episode revolves around a hostage crisis and is largely presented as an homage to the film Die Hard. On Christmas Eve, an amateur criminal on the run from the police crashes into the Buy More and takes Chuck Bartowski, Ellie Bartowski, Devon Woodcomb, and the Buy More employees hostage. In order to protect Chuck's cover and the safety of the other hostages, Sarah Walker and John Casey secretly go into the store to remove Chuck, but the mission quickly falls apart when Chuck refuses to leave his friends and family behind.
"Chuck Versus Santa Claus" received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics. According to the Nielsen ratings system, it drew 7.661 million viewers, making it the second most-watched episode of the season, after "Chuck Versus the Third Dimension".
The morning before Christmas, a high-speed chase occurs near a Burbank, California shopping center, ultimately ending with the fugitive crashing his car through the Buy More front doors. Nathan "Needlenose Ned" Rhyerson (Jed Rees) exits the car and, desperate to buy presents for his children, takes Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi), Ellie Bartowski (Sarah Lancaster), Devon Woodcomb (Ryan McPartlin), and all the Buy More employees hostage. Ned communicates with the police via Chuck, and LAPD Lieutenant Frank Mauser (Michael Rooker) negotiates the release of Emmett Milbarge (Tony Hale) as a sign of good faith.
Meanwhile, Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski) and John Casey (Adam Baldwin) watch news coverage of the situation and sneak into the store to rescue Chuck so that the media attention does not compromise his cover, only to be thwarted by Ned. Suddenly, Mauser exchanges himself for two hostages: Chuck's handlers Casey and Sarah.
When Mauser enters, Chuck flashes on his watch, identifying him is a Fulcrum agent. Mauser tells Chuck that he knows that Casey and Sarah are CIA and that they are protecting an unknown asset. He reveals that Ned is a Fulcrum agent who caused the disturbance so Mauser could infiltrate the Buy More. At this point, it is revealed that Ned is far more competent than the hostages where led to believe, having intentionally shot Casey in the foot and separated Chuck from his handlers. Mauser threatens to shoot the hostages if Chuck does not reveal where Bryce Larkin and the government database the Intersect are. Chuck reveals to Mauser that the Intersect has been uploaded to his brain.
As Mauser escorts him from the Buy More, Chuck urges Devon to disarm Ned. As Chuck is taken in an ambulance to a Fulcrum facility, Devon, Jeff Barnes (Scott Krinsky), Lester Patel (Vik Sahay), Big Mike (Mark Christopher Lawrence), and Morgan Grimes (Joshua Gomez) make a plan. Lester unsuccessfully tries to tackle Ned, but Morgan manages to distract Ned long for Big Mike and Devon to tackle him and end the hostage situation.
Meanwhile, Sarah and Casey learn that Ned is unmarried and had earlier called Mauser rather than his wife, as the hostages were led to believe. They follow the ambulance containing Chuck and Mauser and shoot its tires, sending the vehicle into a Christmas tree lot and allowing Chuck to escape and Sarah finds him. She tells him to go back to Castle and continues hunting Mauser. The two of them engage in hand to hand combat that ends with Sarah holding him at gunpoint. Mauser surrenders, stating that he knows Chuck's the Intersect and that Fulcrum will rescue him and that Chuck will never be safe. Sarah then shoots him dead in cold blood which Chuck, who had decided to not go to Castle, witnesses from afar. She later lies to Chuck and tells him that Mauser has been arrested. At the Buy More, Ellie and Morgan's girlfriend Anna Wu (Julia Ling) praise Lester for his act of bravery. Morgan watches as Lester grabs Anna and kisses her, turning away before Anna pulls away from Lester in disgust. The episode closes with both Morgan and Chuck heartbroken, Morgan believing Anna to be unfaithful, and Chuck seeing Sarah as a cold blooded killer.
"Chuck Versus Santa Claus" was one of many episodes to be directed by producer Robert Duncan McNeill, and was written by producer Scott Rosenbaum. It originally aired in the United States on December 15, 2008, on NBC as the eleventh episode of Chuck's second season and the 24th episode overall.
The exterior shots of the store where most of the episode takes place are of a former Mervyn's store in the Fallbrook Mall in Canoga Park. Reginald VelJohnson guest stars, reprising his Die Hard role of Sergeant Al Powell, who is revealed to be Big Mike's cousin. Michael Rooker also guest stars as long-time hostage negotiator Frank Mauser and Jed Rees as Ned, the hostage taker. Tony Hale and Bonita Friedericy reprise their recurring roles of efficiency expert Emmett Milbarge and General Diane Beckman, respectively.
In this episode, the Intersect is activated once. When Mauser walks into the Buy More, Chuck "flashes" on his watch. This flash reveals that Mauser is a Fulcrum agent, and Chuck urges Devon to end the hostage situation.
The episode is largely presented as an homage to and parody of Die Hard, which was also centered around terrorists instigating a hostage crisis on the day before Christmas. The episode also has music similar to Die Hard, including the song "Ode to Joy". Reginald VelJohnson reprises his role of LAPD officer Al Powell from Die Hard and Die Hard 2. While Powell bought several Twinkies for his wife in Die Hard, in this episode he and Big Mike are shown eating Twinkies at the same time. Chuck later parodied Die Hard on a much larger scale in "Chuck Versus the Leftovers".
The episode contains a number of other references. Its title references the North American legendary, mythological and folkloric figure Santa Claus. In addition to Die Hard, the episode has been described in part as "a light-hearted Dog Day Afternoon parody." Ned is believed to be named after Stephen Tobolowsky's character Ned Ryerson from Groundhog Day, and Mauser after Art Metrano's character from Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment and Police Academy 3: Back in Training. Chuck reveals that Christmas at the Bartowski household includes Twilight Zone marathons, while Sarah reveals that Christmas at the Burton household was spent in a Salvation Army scam.
According to the Nielsen ratings system, "Chuck Versus Santa Claus" drew 7.661 million viewers, making it the second most-watched episode of the season, after "Chuck Versus the Third Dimension".
The episode received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics. Eric Goldman of IGN gave the episode a score of 9.5 out of 10, a series high alongside "Chuck Versus the Colonel", Season 3's "Chuck Versus the Beard" and "Chuck Versus the Subway", Season 4's "Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger", and Season 5's "Chuck Versus the Kept Man" and "Chuck Versus the Goodbye". Goldman described the episode as an "especially strong installment, which delivered on a lot of fronts." Goldman praised the scene depicting Sarah and Mauser's confrontation, writing, "The entire ambience of the scene was terrific – a rainy night at a Christmas tree lot, with Chuck secretly watching as Sarah shot the unarmed, surrendering Mauser in cold blood - to the tune of 'Silent Night', no less. Of course she did this because she loves Chuck and wants to protect him, but all Chuck knows is that he just saw Sarah in a very scary light, and it's a great new dynamic to their relationship." HitFix writer Alan Sepinwall wrote, "Chuck vs. Santa Claus" was moving along amusingly enough when it still seemed like Ned Rhyerson was just a hapless criminal with the bad luck to crash into a store built above a top-secret government intelligence facility, but the surprising left turn it took when Chuck flashed on Lt. Mauser took things to another level." Steve Heisler of The A.V. Club gave the episode an A-, writing "Santa Claus certainly delivered (character) goodies to everyone tonight. Morgan gets to be a hero, even if no one notices, taking down Ned with a fake snow machine. Jeff calls his mother–in prison–then finds the time to break up a mistletoe makeout session. Lester sneaks a smooch from Anna, and isn't even remotely fazed when it causes her to run for the hills. And Big Mike's embrace of cousin Big Al is a keeper."
Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger
"Chuck Versus the Colonel" is the 21st episode of Chuck's second season, and the 34th episode overall. It aired on April 20, 2009. Chuck and Sarah go on the run in an effort to locate Chuck's father. At the Buy More, Morgan becomes a pariah among his coworkers after Big Mike's demotion.
The episode begins the morning after the previous episode. Chuck and Sarah head to the coordinates of Black Rock that Chuck flashed on, but arrive only to find an abandoned drive-in theater. At Castle, Beckman promotes Casey to Colonel and orders him to bring Chuck and Sarah in dead or alive. Meanwhile, Ted demands Stephen finish the Intersect by the next morning, or else he'll kill his family.
Unable to return home because they are AWOL, Chuck and Sarah stop to spend the night at a motel. Unknown to them, Vincent has tracked their location. Roark asks him to wait until the morning when the Intersect should be finished before dealing with them. After being interrupted by Ellie and Devon while searching Chuck's room for clues as to where he and Sarah might have gone, Casey tracks a call placed by Chuck to the same motel. The next morning, Chuck and Sarah wake up in each other's arms and begin kissing, but are prevented from moving on to sex when Chuck discovers Morgan took his last condom. Chuck leaves to get one and is apprehended by Casey, but Sarah disables him and cuffs him to a radiator in the motel room. As they prepare to leave, several Fulcrum operatives arrive and Chuck convinces Sarah to go back for Casey, who has already freed himself by tearing out the radiator and confronts Chuck at the car. Sarah is captured by Fulcrum but Chuck rescues her by running them down with the car. Casey takes them back into custody.
Stephen is tracking them and as they pass the drive-in again, he leaves Chuck a message (Tron 12AM) on a billboard, but Casey refuses to turn back and returns them to Castle where they are placed in lockdown. Casey informs Beckman of the message, and she agrees to look into it. Casey's home alarm is tripped by Devon, and he hurries back to deal with him. Meanwhile, Chuck and Sarah are about to kiss again when a short blackout (see below) disables the security and allows them to escape. They see Devon trapped in Casey's apartment on one of the monitors when power is restored and rush back home as well.
Chuck and Sarah stop Casey from killing Devon and leave him tied up, while they return to the drive-in to rescue Stephen. Beckman advises Casey that there's not enough time to rescue Stephen, so she has instead decided to order an air strike to destroy the facility to prevent Fulcrum from gaining the Intersect. Casey escapes and goes after the rest of his team. He joins Sarah in freeing Stephen before the air strike arrives, however they are captured by Vincent. Chuck was told to stay in the car, but when a large group of Fulcrum agents arrive he realizes that Roark is going to use the completed Intersect to build an army, so he leaves to stop it. He encounters Roark, who brings all the prisoners into the projection booth. Chuck warns Sarah and Casey to close their eyes, but Stephen tells Chuck to leave his open. He does as his father instructs as Stephen had reprogrammed the Intersect to remove the Intersect data, not implant it.
Before they can be killed, Air Force F-16s arrive and begin attack runs on the base. The Fulcrum agents scatter and the team escapes, taking the Intersect with them. Back at Castle, Beckman commends Casey on rescuing Stephen, recovering the Intersect, and destroying Fulcrum's operation, but he deflects her praise and covers for Sarah by saying it was her idea to pretend going rogue to flush out Fulcrum. Beckman clears Sarah of wrongdoing, and announces their operation is over and Chuck is free to live out his life. Chuck tries to thank her but she cuts the transmission.
The episode ends with a battered Ted Roark hitching a ride on a semi, headed for Ellie's wedding.
Morgan is on the outs with the rest of his coworkers after Big Mike was removed as store manager by Emmett, who wants to make Morgan his assistant manager. Morgan initially refuses and tries to make things up to Big Mike. Eventually he accepts the promotion from Emmett and tries to use it to control Emmett's power plays by protecting Big Mike and the rest of the employees, however Emmett continues to force Mike into doing menial tasks around the store. After he's ordered to install new registers, Jeff and Lester set off a bomb they found in Casey's locker inside a generator outside the store, which causes a temporary blackout throughout Burbank.
Morgan is ordered to fire them, which he tries to stop by asking the two to apologize, which they refuse to do. Anna confronts Morgan why he takes their abuse, and chides him about not having any dreams outside the Buy More. Morgan admits he wants to be a Benihana chef. Emmett continues to pressure Morgan to fire Jeff and Lester, until finally Morgan decides to do the honorable thing. He comes to Big Mike and asks him to take care of his mother, then in full view of everyone strips off his assistant manager's shirt and quits. He asks Anna to come with him to Hawaii while he follows his dream to train as a chef.
He and Anna leave the store to thunderous applause of all his coworkers.
Devon interrupts Casey's search of Chuck's room, (see above) but grows suspicious about his behavior and Chuck's disappearance. He heads to the Buy More to ask Jeff and Lester if they've seen Chuck, and about Casey. The two break into Casey's locker and reveal that Casey has keys to Chuck's house and keeps logs of his doings at the store, as well as chloroform and other disturbing equipment. Jeff expresses professional admiration for Casey as a stalker.
Growing more concerned, Devon uses Casey's keys to break into his apartment, where he sees Casey's surveillance equipment, including the camera in Chuck's room. He tries to access Casey's computer but trips an alarm which locks him in. Casey, alerted to his intrusion, returns to his apartment. Devon confronts him about his intrusion into Chuck's privacy, and defends himself when Casey tries to kill him. Casey gets back to his feet, but before he can finish Devon off is ambushed by Sarah and Chuck. Devon insists on calling the police, but now that he's seen so much, Chuck reluctantly tells him the truth that he is a high-profile government asset, and Sarah and Casey are his handlers. Chuck asks for Devon to "be awesome" and cover for him with Ellie. Devon is stunned, but agrees to help.
Later, when Ellie comes home and asks him about Chuck, Devon begins to panic. Ellie mistakes this as wedding jitters and orders him to remain focused. He eventually calms down as they prepare to leave for their rehearsal dinner, and assures her that Chuck loves her and was just shaken up by their father leaving again. He asks her to trust Chuck, who finally returns home and apologizes, then brings Stephen in as their wedding present.
As they all head out for the dinner, Chuck stops by Casey's apartment and asks him to come with them. Casey initially refuses, saying his mission is over, but Chuck tells him he's asking as a friend. Casey closes the door, but as Chuck turns to leave he comes back out with several cigars in-hand. Sarah then arrives as well and Casey leaves them to talk. Chuck is unable to believe that it is real, but Sarah assures him it is as she takes him by the hand.
"Chuck Versus the Colonel" addresses several major and minor subplots that have progressed throughout the second season. The season's main arc concerning the Fulcrum Intersect was resolved with the team successfully rescuing Stephen Bartowski and capturing the new Intersect computer. Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz had previously indicated the episode would be a turning point in Chuck and Sarah's relationship, furthered by dialog throughout the episode following them nearly having sex in the first part of the episode. Devon also discovered the truth of Chuck's secret life, first hinted at by comments made by Ryan McPartlin.
The most significant development was the removal of the Intersect from Chuck's head, which dates to the beginning of the first season.
"Chuck Versus the Colonel" has met with overwhelmingly positive reviews. Eric Goldman of IGN scored the episode a 9.5 out of 10, a series high alongside "Chuck Versus Santa Claus", Season 3's "Chuck Versus the Beard" and "Chuck Versus the Subway", Season 4's "Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger", and Season 5's "Chuck Versus the Kept Man" and "Chuck Versus the Goodbye". Goldman cited as the episode's only flaw the ease with which Casey went back on his refusal to help Chuck and Sarah and then cover for Sarah's desertion at the end of the episode. TV Squad praised the balance of the episode's action, humor, pop culture references and romantic subplots, and particularly cited the use of the drive-in theater as a secret base. Alan Sepinwall cited the episode as all the reasons he enjoys watching Chuck.
Chuck Versus the Dream Job
"Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger" is the fourth season finale of the American NBC action-comedy television series Chuck. Aired on May 16, 2011, it is the season's 24th episode, and the 78th overall episode of the series. The episode was directed by Robert Duncan McNeill and written by series co-creator Chris Fedak, along with Nicholas Wootton. Despite the episode's eponymous cliffhanger ending, supposedly leading into a fifth season, it was anticipated that Chuck would be cancelled after the fourth season for declining viewership, making "Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger" the de facto series finale. However, a fifth and final season was ordered on May 13, 2011.
Chuck revolves around the Intersect, a government database designed by Stephen J. Bartowski. In the pilot episode of the series, Stephen's son Chuck (Zachary Levi) receives the database and accidentally uploads it to his brain. Chuck is then forced from his life as an employee at the big-box store Buy More to the spy world. By the fourth season, Chuck is a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent and is engaged to one of his handlers, Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski).
In the season, Chuck and his team fulfill Stephen Bartowski's last wish to destroy Volkoff Industries, led by international arms dealer Alexei Volkoff (Timothy Dalton). It is then revealed that Volkoff was actually Hartley Winterbottom, an MI6 scientist who worked with Stephen in the 1980s. In preparation for an undercover assignment as an arms dealer named Alexei Volkoff, Winterbottom became the first person to upload the Intersect. However, the upload malfunctioned, overwriting Winterbottom's personality with that of his cover, and Stephen spent the last 20 years of his life trying to fix his mistake. At the end of "Chuck Versus the Last Details", Volkoff's daughter Vivian (Lauren Cohan) learns of her father's true identity, and, holding Chuck responsible, poisons Chuck's fiancée Sarah with a Volkoff Industries weapon called "the Norseman". To save Sarah's life and stop Vivian from destroying his and Sarah's wedding, Chuck turns to Alexei for help. To keep secret Volkoff's true identity, the CIA sends its "toughest" agent, Clyde Decker (Richard Burgi), to stop Chuck.
"Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger" received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics. According to the Nielsen ratings system, it drew 4.53 million viewers, with a 1.5/4 rating among those aged 18–49.
Volkoff Industries heiress Vivian Volkoff (Lauren Cohan) decides to make Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Agent Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi) suffer, based on the misconception that the CIA forced her father, MI6 scientist Hartley Winterbottom (Timothy Dalton), to upload a government database called the Intersect to his brain, accidentally overwriting his personality with that of his cover identity, arms dealer Alexei Volkoff. Vivian poisons Chuck's fiancée Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski) with the Volkoff Industries "Norseman" weapon, and Sarah is rushed into the emergency room. Chuck, his mother Mary (Linda Hamilton), and ally John Casey (Adam Baldwin) set out to find an antidote to the Norseman's effects, but when Chuck breaks into the prison holding Alexei, he discovers that elite agent Clyde Decker (Richard Burgi) has anticipated his move and relocated Alexei. To protect Alexei's true identity and conceal the government's botched experiment, Decker revokes Chuck's clearance to CIA facilities.
With General Beckman's (Bonita Friedericy) aid, Chuck intercepts the transport carrying Alexei, only to find that Decker has deprogrammed Alexei and restored his previous identity and memories of Hartley Winterbottom. Hartley administers an antidote, but it fails to cure Sarah. Mary then remembers that Alexei had developed a stronger antidote, but it is stored at the Volkoff Industries Headquarters in Moscow, Russia. As they leave the hospital, Chuck, Casey, Mary, and Hartley are captured by Decker and taken to Castle, a government base under the big-box store Buy More, where Decker suppresses the Intersect in Chuck's mind. Casey helps Chuck and Hartley escape, giving Chuck discs containing clean fabricated identities for him and Sarah.
Chuck and Hartley go to Volkoff Industries, and Hartley reveals to Vivian that he went undercover voluntarily, resulting in his transformation into the villainous Volkoff. Chuck gives up the discs from Casey so Vivian and her father can start a new life. Chuck returns with the antidote to Burbank, California, where Decker is waiting for him. A standoff occurs, but as Chuck is backed up by a superior force made up of his friends, family, the C.A.T. Squad (Mini Andén and Mercedes Masöhn), and Volkoff's Spetsnaz paratroopers, Decker is forced to stand down. Using the information about Alexei as leverage against Decker, Chuck delivers the antidote.
The scene then changes to Chuck and Sarah's wedding, after which they receive a wedding present from Hartley. Two weeks later, Chuck returns from his honeymoon to a deserted Castle, where he learns from Decker that he has been manipulated his entire spy career, leading to him receiving the Intersect and facing Fulcrum, the Ring, Daniel Shaw, and Volkoff. It is then revealed that Hartley's gift was all of Volkoff Industries' assets, giving Chuck and Sarah almost a billion dollars. Chuck purchases the Buy More from the government's front company, and he, Sarah, Casey, and Morgan Grimes (Joshua Gomez) set up their own freelance spy operation in Castle to investigate the conspiracy involving Chuck. Morgan then spots a pair of glasses in a box of Chuck's belongings sent from Beckman. Morgan puts them on and accidentally uploads an Intersect.
"Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger" was one of many episodes to be directed by producer Robert Duncan McNeill, and was written by Chris Fedak, who co-created the series, and Nicholas Wootton, both of whom serve as executive producers. It originally aired in the United States on May 16, 2011, on NBC as the 24th episode of Chucks fourth season and the 78th episode overall. The episode was filmed in April 2011 at North Hollywood Medical Center. Guest stars Linda Hamilton, Timothy Dalton, Lauren Cohan, Mekenna Melvin, Mini Andén, and Mercedes Masöhn reprised their recurring roles as Mary Bartowski, Alexei Volkoff, Vivian Volkoff, Alex McHugh, Carina Miller, and Zondra, respectively. The episode also introduced Richard Burgi as Clyde Decker, the CIA's "toughest" agent.
Michael Ausiello had revealed in March 2011 that the fourth season finale would be titled "Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger". Chris Fedak later confirmed that the episode, as the title suggests, would have a cliffhanger ending leading into a fifth season. Fedak stated that cliffhangers tell "more story", citing Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Batman Begins as examples. The season had suffered two major declines in viewership, one before "Chuck Versus the Push Mix", and another after three weeks of repeated episodes, and it was predicted that NBC would cancel Chuck before the fourth season ended, making "Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger" the de facto series finale. However, a fifth and final season was ordered on May 13, 2011, and is set to premiere October 21, 2011.
"Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger" is one of the few episodes since season one's "Chuck Versus the Helicopter" not to feature the series' full credits sequence with the instrumental version of Cake's "Short Skirt/Long Jacket", instead displaying the main cast credits over action in the episode's second act. HitFix Senior Editor Alan Sepinwall has called the episode a "tying together of everything the character [Chuck] and the show have been about", including the use of a recurring spy strategy, "The Magnet", to fool Decker. As Chuck and Sarah walk to their limousine, clips of their budding romance are shown through archive footage from several earlier episodes, including the pilot episode, "Chuck Versus the Intersect". Fedak stated in an interview that the inspiration for Volkoff's true identity being a gun-shy British scientist was Dalton's portrayal of Gregory Tuttle, Volkoff's guise as Mary Bartowski's MI6 handler, in "Chuck Versus the First Fight", his first appearance on the series. Chuck's quest to save Sarah serves as a reversal of "Chuck Versus Phase Three".
"...I've always thought of cliffhangers as a great thing. It tells you more story... At the end of season 2, I always imagined that, no matter what happens, Chuck, Sarah and Casey are having amazing adventures, and the story is ongoing..."
Yvonne Strahovski is given limited screen time in the episode due to her character, Sarah, being in a coma. However, the episode is augmented with flashbacks taking place five days before the events of the episode, in which Chuck and Sarah deal with pre-wedding jitters by having their own rehearsal in their apartment. Thus, Chuck and Sarah's wedding vows are given added weight due to Sarah's being said early in the episode, and Chuck's being improvised from Sarah's.
Fedak stated in an interview on the day of the episode's airing that "Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger" marks a major transition in the series. As of the episode's ending, the main characters of the series are no longer government spies and no longer work for General Beckman; Chuck and Sarah have received an immense wealth; and Chuck has become the leader of a team to investigate a conspiracy involving his spy career. According to Fedak, the episode institutes a storyline in which the series returns to its roots. Morgan will be portrayed by Joshua Gomez much like Chuck was by Zachary Levi in the early seasons of the series: as a newcomer to the spy world due to the presence of the Intersect in his brain. Meanwhile, Chuck will be portrayed as Morgan's protector, much like Casey and Sarah were to him in past seasons.
Fedak revealed that the music for the season finale was completed the Wednesday night before the episode aired. The episode's soundtrack includes the songs "Here With Me" by Battleme when Chuck and Sarah are anxious about their wedding, "Conscience Killer" by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club while Chuck intercepts Alexei's transport, "Firewood" by Typhoon while Chuck and Sarah practice their vows, "I'm A Pilot" by Fanfarlo while Chuck rushes to administer the antidote, and "Sinking Friendships" by Jónsi during the wedding.
Multiple references are made to former United States President Ronald Reagan. Upon seeing Casey's framed photograph of Reagan, Hartley asks, "Is he still in charge?", to which Casey replies, "If only!" Casey later comments, "That's smart. Real smart. Reagan smart." Adam Baldwin stated that he established Casey's habit of referencing Reagan on the series. The CIA's Nighthawk motorcycle used in the episode alludes to Street Hawk. During Chuck and Sarah's wedding, Morgan, acting as the minister, claims to be ordained by the Intergalactic Federation of Planets, a reference to Star Trek. When Chuck asks him to close the partition in the limo after the wedding, Morgan responds, "As you wish!", referencing The Princess Bride. In archive footage from "Chuck Versus the Balcony", Sarah tells Chuck that she did not fall in love with James Bond. After Morgan downloads the Intersect, he says "Guys, I know kung fu", a reference to The Matrix. The series has featured variations on this line before, when Chuck downloaded versions of the Intersect in "Chuck Versus the Ring" and "Chuck Versus the Leftovers".
According to the Nielsen ratings system, "Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger" drew 4.53 million viewers, with a 1.5/4 rating among those aged 18–49. The episode had the most viewers since "Chuck Versus the A-Team", making it the sixth least-watched episode in Chucks history to that point.
The episode received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics. Alan Sepinwall of HitFix wrote that "as Chuck began laying out his plan to be freelance spies, and as Morgan took out the Intersect sunglasses General Beckman had so thoughtfully hidden in Chuck's going-away box, all I could feel was gratitude: I'm so glad NBC ordered one more season, because that is a show I want to see!" Sepinwall praised Timothy Dalton's ability to deliver both a comic and serious performance, writing that, while on other series Volkoff's back-story "would be an incredibly dark, tragic storyline", Dalton acted well enough that his emotions were not overwhelming. Sepinwall continued that the storyline "would have sucked every last bit of joy out of the episode" if the character had been portrayed by another Chuck actor. In contrast, Sepinwall wrote that he felt no empathy for Volkoff's daughter, as "Lauren Cohan has never managed to make a cohesive and interesting character out of a bunch of jarring personality shifts". Brody Gibson of Boom Tron wrote," The writers of Chuck sure know how to pull together a great finale. I was floored." Gibson agreed with Sepinwall on Timothy Dalton's range of acting skills, praising Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski as well. Gibson wrote that Levi deserved an Emmy nomination for a scene in which Chuck surrenders himself to Vivian to plead for the antidote to save Sarah's life. Gibson also praised Levi and Strahovski's performance in Chuck and Sarah's "practice wedding": "These two have always had such great chemistry, you could swear they're actually in love and not just actors pretending."
"Let's put it this way. Watching Chuck strip away all aspects of his life for the sole purpose of saving Sarah's life? Fantastic. Watching Chuck and a reformed Hartley Winterbottom talk for 10 minutes in the main hallway of Volkoff Industries without anyone noticing who they were? Semi-excruciating."
Brittany Frederick of Starpulse.com wrote, "It wasn't the whiz-bang finale I was expecting after all the hype, but it was one that was true to what the show stands for, and that's good enough for me." Like Sepinwall and Gibson, Frederick praised the performance by Levi and Dalton, writing, "Chuck's heartbreak and desperation were incredibly poignant throughout the bulk of the episode." Like Gibson, Frederick also praised the scene depicting Chuck's surrender to Vivian, calling it "sniffle-inducing". Frederick continued that Dalton "plays Hartley Winterbottom with a great sincerity and vulnerability." Frederick also called it "a great reward to the fans that the episode didn't cheat us out of the Chuck/Sarah wedding at all." Frederick wrote, "While I'm not blown away by this finale, I still am satisfied with it, because it represents the values we've come to expect from Chuck: the ideas of hope, family, and sticking together in the face of the most adverse of circumstances." Ryan McGee of The Onions A.V. Club rated the episode a B+ on an A+ to F scale, although criticizing its "mechanics". Eric Goldman of IGN gave the episode a rating of 9.5 out of 10, a series high alongside season two's "Chuck Versus Santa Claus" and "Chuck Versus the Colonel", season three's "Chuck Versus the Beard" and "Chuck Versus the Subway", and season five's "Chuck Versus the Kept Man" and "Chuck Versus the Goodbye". Goldman wrote, "Chucks had more ups and downs than usual this season, but it ended on a very strong note. With Sarah's life in danger, Chuck and all his friends and family proved they would risk everything to save her, and it made for a very compelling, involving hour."
List of America's Test Kitchen episodes
"Chuck Versus the Dream Job" aired on April 6, 2009. It is the 19th episode of the series'Chuck second season. The main protagonist Chuck, played by Chuck Bartowski, interviews for a job at Roark Industries with the goal of hiring on to investigate a possible computer virus, while his father, Stephen J. Bartowski, (Scott Bakula) returns home.
The episode opens with Chuck and Sarah meeting with Chuck's father. Stephen catches up on his and Ellie's life, and Chuck confronts him about coming to Ellie's wedding. Stephen is reluctant, but finally agrees to return home. Chuck brings him back to the apartment, but the reunion with Ellie doesn't go as planned. She retreats to her room after being overwhelmed by seeing their father again, but Chuck convinces her to forgive him for leaving. The reunion becomes more awkward when Stephen rants about many things he claims to have invented that were stolen by Ted Roark (Chevy Chase). Among his father's possessions is an advertisement for a major tech show where Roark's latest computer operating system is to be released, which Chuck flashes on.
At Castle, Beckman briefs the team. Chatter has led them to believe a virus is being released in the operating system, and she orders them to investigate. A job interview is arranged for Chuck, under his own identity, which Sarah encourages him he's more than qualified on his own for, even though it's just for the mission. The next morning Chuck arrives at Roark Industries and performs well at the interview. He is immediately hired and introduced to Roark, whom Chuck had dreamed of working for since Stanford. As he's leaving, he's spotted by Jeff and Lester, who will be attending the launch. They tell Morgan they just saw him leaving Roark's headquarters as a new employee. That night at dinner, Morgan lets slip about Chuck's new "job," which upsets Stephen as he believes Roark destroyed his life.
At the launch the next day, Casey and Sarah attempt to break in to stop it, but are unable to bypass security. The situation becomes more serious when Chuck flashes on a Fulcrum agent on stage with Roark. With no other options, Chuck bursts on stage in an effort to warn Roark that his operating system is believed to contain a virus, but he doesn't believe him. Chuck grabs the controls that will initiate the launch and attempts to escape, but fails. Stephen and Ellie were watching the conference on Stephen's laptop when Chuck attempts to disrupt the launch, and Ellie is angered because she believes Chuck threw his dream job away for his father, even though Stephen denies putting him up to it.
Upset with the way the Intersect has ruined his life, Chuck goes through the documents left to him by Orion to piece together what he was supposed to do to free himself of the Intersect. Stephen interrupts to tell him he didn't want Chuck to ruin his own career just for him, and if he wants to work for Roark it's ok with him. As he leaves, Chuck notices that the layout of Roark's offices matches the diagram in Orion's documents. He realizes that Roark is building a full-scale Intersect system for Fulcrum, but Casey and Sarah don't believe him without solid proof. He takes it upon himself to infiltrate the office to investigate himself after tranquilizing Casey when he tries to stop him.
Chuck breaks into Roark's campus, but before he can get far, he has to take cover when his father barges in demanding to speak to Roark and set things right for his son. Roark tells the Fulcrum agent Chuck flashed on earlier that he'll deal with Stephen personally. After the agent punches Stephen in the gut Chuck bursts from cover and starts shooting with his tranquilizer guns. He runs out of ammunition, with Roark's security staring at him for a moment before they all collapse. Chuck tries to get his father to leave when they encounter Vincent, (Arnold Vosloo) who tells them it's good to see them both again. Stephen then takes control of the security door with a wrist-mounted computer and uses it to incapacitate Vincent before revealing the truth to Chuck that he was Orion all along, and left Chuck and Ellie to protect them once he realized what the government wanted the Intersect for, and that there were others who wanted it just as badly.
He leads Chuck deep into the heart of Roark's complex, and teaches Chuck that he can flash intentionally to open a door locked with a cipher. There they find the nearly complete Fulcrum Intersect. Stephen prepares to use it to remove the data from Chuck's brain but they are interrupted by Roark and Vincent. Roark is about to have Chuck killed when Stephen steps in on his behalf, telling Roark that Chuck is his son, and promises to help as long as he's allowed to walk away. Roark agrees and lets Chuck leave while Stephen is taken to a helicopter. Just before the door shuts between them Casey and Sarah arrive, and Stephen tells him he was wrong when he told him not to trust his handlers. Back at Castle, Beckman makes clear the consequences of Roark escaping both with the Intersect and Orion, but tells them that she will put the government's best team on it. Chuck stands up to Beckman and tells her that Operation Bartowski is her best team, and demands to be part of the effort to rescue his father. Beckman relents when Casey sides with Chuck, but warns him not to allow his personal feelings to get in the way.
Back at home, Ellie is heartbroken thinking that their father has left them again, but Chuck tells her not to give up on him.
"Chuck Versus the Dream Job" continues on the arc begun with "Chuck Versus the Lethal Weapon," particularly referencing Orion and furthering Chuck's quest to have the Intersect removed from his head. It also advances the general arc of season two, which has focused heavily on Fulcrum's desire to obtain the Intersect for its own purposes. Additionally, Arnold Vosloo reprises his role of Vincent from "Chuck Versus the Predator."
Bakula and Chase were announced to be playing the roles of Stephen Bartowski and Ted Roark, respectively, in January, 2009 as part of an extended arc to close out the season. Besides their resemblance to each other, Bakula was cast for Stephen Bartowski because Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak consider themselves "huge Quantum Leap fans, and found Bakula's ability to jump from comedy to drama to action reminiscent of Zachary Levi's.
Numerous small references are made to previous episodes, especially the pilot:
Roark's company is called two different names during the episode. The majority of the time, Ted's company is called Roark Instruments. For example, when Morgan first confronts Chuck over his 'new job', he calls the company Roark Instruments, as does the side of the file Chuck received when he started at RI. At the unveiling of RIOS, the caption of Ted's presentation on the webcast Ellie and Stephen watch says Roark Industries.
"Chuck Versus the Dream Job" has received overall positive reviews.
IGN.com rated the episode a 9/10, praising the gravity Chase brought to Ted Roark, and the offbeat and semi-crazy angle Bakula uses to approach Stephen Bartowski. Chuck's proactiveness in taking control of his situation was also appreciated, as were the character-building moments between Chuck and Ellie, and that the events of Devon's bachelor party weren't just thrown out. The Futon Critic also praised the renewed focus on Chuck and Ellie's relationship, and the additional complications of Stephen Bartowski's return, while Televisionary similarly praised Bakula's performance, citing him as ideally suited for the role.
The following is a list of episodes of the public television cooking show America's Test Kitchen in the United States. The program started with 13 shows in 2001, its first season. Beginning with the second season (2002), the show grew to 26 episodes per season.
The Intersect is a fictional secret technology appearing in the television series Chuck. Within the series, it is used to house and analyze large quantities of encoded data. The term refers to the computer in its manufactured form ("We built the Intersect") as well as its presence in a human brain ("He has the Intersect in his head"), and can also be used to refer to the human who has downloaded it ("The Intersect will observe and report on what he sees", "He's the human Intersect"). It was originally developed by the United States intelligence community.
Following 9/11, the CIA and NSA were instructed to "play nice" and share their intelligence, in turn making it easier to track and identify threats to national security, and the manufactured Intersect is "how (they) did that". They put "every scrap of data (they) had" into the computer, and the Intersect "saw" patterns in the data that the agencies had not. For example, Chuck describes in "Chuck Versus the Intersect" that multiple agencies had picked up information suggesting a bombing attempt against General Stanfield during the speech he was due to give, but the CIA and NSA each only had part of the picture. The Intersect cross-checked and combined both groups' intelligence to determine the full nature of the threat. Dr. Howard Busgang (code name Perseus) was one of the technicians involved in its design and development, as was Dr. Jonas Zarnow. The chief designer is Stephen J. Bartowski (code name Orion), Chuck's father.
Stephen Bartowski was apparently unaware of what the government intended to do with the Intersect, and it is not entirely clear what he originally expected or if the government had designs for the Intersect beyond creating more powerful spies. His original intention was to use it as a learning device. Both he and Dr. Busgang refer ominously to Stephen learning about the government's plans for the Intersect. When Stephen did learn, after completing the original Cipher, he purged his personal records and went on the run. "Chuck Versus Agent X" later confirms that the use of the Intersect to empower government agents was present from an early stage in the computer's development: Stephen and the CIA used an early version of the system to implant a cover identity into his friend and colleague, Hartley Winterbottom. However this version of the Intersect subsequently malfunctioned, leading Winterbottom to permanently assume the cover identity as if it were his actual identity.
Chuck has also speculated that Lazslo Manhovski was a technician on the original Intersect.
Several humans have uploaded an Intersect in their brain:
The completed system was originally housed in the "Directorate of National Intelligence" in Washington, DC, in an isolated chamber consisting of a single terminal. The walls were completely lined with video monitors that, when the system was accessed, displayed the data contained within the computer in a massive rush of information. This data was encoded in seemingly innocuous images, which facilitated subliminal retention when viewed by those receptive to it. It has not been specified how the Intersect was originally intended to be used. Dr. Zarnow suggested subliminal retention was intended in "Chuck Versus the Helicopter", though he found it remarkable that one subject could retain all of the images. Dr. Busgang told Chuck in "Chuck Versus the Lethal Weapon" that he never expected that a Human Intersect was possible. Stephen Bartowski tested an early version on himself, suggesting that at least he intended visual retention from early on. In "Chuck Versus the Living Dead" Stephen describes the Intersect as making use of the brain's own electrical impulses to function, and Ellie Bartowski would determine over the course of the fourth season that her father was attempting to use this to map information to the human brain in a manner similar to a computer.
Retention of data can be blocked by shielding the eyes, and even regular sunglasses appear to be sufficient for this purpose. It is strongly implied, but never stated, that once a person begins looking at the images, it is impossible to stop looking before the sequence is complete, even among those who are not especially receptive to them.
Despite the substantial amount of information stored within, it was still compact enough to be downloaded to a single UMPC device and sent via e-mail to a civilian personal computer system. New data can be added to the Intersect computer system and distributed to agents in the field via portable imaging devices or viewing over a computer terminal.
The original (manufactured) Intersect was destroyed by Bryce Larkin in an effort to protect it from capture by a CIA splinter group known as Fulcrum. Before destroying the Intersect, Larkin sent the only copy to Chuck Bartowski; the e-mail launched the string of images, causing Chuck to unwittingly download the full contents of the database into his brain. These events are recounted in the series pilot, "Chuck Versus the Intersect".
Although human Intersects show no outward sign of possessing the computer unless they are seen in the middle of a "flash," several episodes have indicated the Intersect has an ongoing physical effect on the host simply from its presence. When Stephen removed the computer from Chuck's brain in "Chuck Versus the Colonel" Chuck remarked that he felt "lighter." Furthermore, in "Chuck Versus the A-Team" Capt. Rick Noble expressed physical relief at having the Intersect removed, and declared his admiration for Chuck managing to handle the system's presence. The same episode also confirmed that, if so modified, the Intersect can directly alter the personalities of its hosts, as both Noble and Capt. Victoria Dunwoody were turned into what Chuck described as "Terminators" by the computer. This was further supported in "Chuck Versus Agent X," in which it was revealed that international arms dealer Alexei Volkoff was actually the product of a malfunctioning Intersect prototype, and was in truth a cover identity implanted by the Intersect into scientist Hartley Winterbottom. "Chuck Versus the Truth" revealed that prolonged use of the Intersect can cause damage to the host's brain, as well as used the host's subconscious mind to flash by means of vivid dreams. The detrimental effects of the Intersect on the human host's brain were most prominent in "Chuck Versus the Subway" and "Chuck Versus the Ring: Part II," in which Chuck experiences painful and debilitating flashes.
The Cipher was a critical component of the Intersect computer developed by Orion, which he stole when he chose to go into hiding and prevent further development by the government. After the destruction of the original Intersect, construction on the new system was delayed when its Cipher was stolen by mercenaries sometime shortly before the events of "Chuck Versus the First Date". It was retrieved by the team, stolen again by the mercenaries, then recovered again, and the device was installed in the new Intersect. However, the device recovered by the team was a forgery and exploded, killing Director Graham and several CIA agents, and destroying the rebuilt Intersect.
The real Cipher was subsequently recovered in "Chuck Versus the Seduction". Beckman revealed Stephen Bartowski's connection to the development of the Cipher in "Chuck Versus the Predator".
"Chuck Versus the Other Guy" revealed that the Ring managed to reverse-engineer their own Cipher, however the device was significantly flawed and required correction using stolen Intersect data provided by Daniel Shaw.
Early in the second season, in "Chuck Versus the Break-Up", Bryce leaves Chuck a pair of sunglasses as a gift "for a real spy". When Chuck puts them on to see how they look in the mirror, a chip in the side activates, scans Chuck's eye for identification, and starts uploading new encoded images, finishing the sequence with the words "Intersect Update Complete". The chip then self-destructs with a wisp of smoke.
Glasses are later used in the series, as a method to both download Intersects into people and suppress existing Intersects. In "Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger", Clyde Decker uses glasses to forcibly remove Chuck's Intersect and Hartley's Volkoff Intersect, and Morgan accidentally downloads an Intersect via glasses. By the end of season five, both Sarah and Chuck obtain Intersects via sunglasses. Using the glasses has the drawback of only being able to download one time, but they can be reloaded by connecting them to an Intersect computer, much like the handheld device Larkin used in the pilot.
Stephen Bartowski discovered the possibility of harmful side-effects early in the Intersect's development, which, in "Chuck Versus the Living Dead", he describes to Chuck as being akin to a computer overheating. He began experimenting with methods of correcting this flaw, and developed a prototype device called the Governor. The Governor regulated the electrical impulses generated by flashes. When he learned Chuck downloaded the upgraded Intersect 2.0, Stephen determined that the Governor, with modifications, could be used to regulate the new version of the computer. Stephen's Governor was destroyed in the fall after he died. The Governor he designed for Chuck was stolen by Shaw, but eventually Sarah returned it to Chuck. As shown in "Chuck Versus the Anniversary", Chuck had fabricated other Governors for his personal use.
Though the Intersect was designed as a learning device, Stephen Bartowski, Ted Roark, and Hartley Winterbottom designed a device called the Key, which could alter the Intersect's original function, grant it new abilities, even rewrite a person's memories. The Key was split into three pieces, given to Fulcrum, The Ring and General Beckman. Nicholas Quinn managed to reassemble the Key and finally perfect the faulty Intersect.
Following the destruction of the first Intersect in the pilot a number of follow-up systems were developed over the course of the series both by the government and the series' chief antagonists, Fulcrum and the Ring.
There were at least three earlier prototypes of the Intersect shown in the series. Stephen Bartowski is revealed to possess an early version in "Chuck Versus the Ring". In "Chuck Versus the Ring: Part II" while fighting Shaw in the Buy More, Chuck's brain "reboots" itself and unlocks a memory of having previously viewed another early prototype long before the version Bryce sent him. In "Chuck Versus Agent X" another Intersect prototype was revealed to have been implanted into an English scientist named Hartley Winterbottom before Chuck was born. The date in which Stephen uploaded the Intersect into himself is unknown, but Chuck uploaded a prototype in 1991. Winterbottom was uploaded in 1980.
Stephen Bartowski's Intersect is only ever seen in use once, but that one use easily shows that the earlier model is far surpassed by Chuck's. The intelligence is accurate, but its retrieval seems much slower, flashing one picture or document at a time with a noticeable gap between the images, rather than the cascade Chuck is usually subjected to. It also visibly weakens or causes pain to Stephen, causing him to stagger and hold the wall to support himself once the flash has happened; whether this is due to a primitive Intersect, or the number of years Stephen been in possession of it, was not established.
In an interview with show creators Chris Fedak & Josh Schwartz, they state Chuck's Intersect Prototype "did not have spy information, that didn't have any skills" and was just the concept of the Intersect and shows Chuck's ability to be a human Intersect. They also joke that it was "like DOS". They elaborate on the following Intersect Chuck receives from Bryce, describing it "like uploading the original operating system" and each version after "kind of like [installing] patches".
The existence of another Intersect prototype is revealed in "Chuck Versus Agent X." The CIA and Stephen implanted an early Intersect version into an English scientist named Hartley Winterbottom in 1980 to create "Agent X." Part of this Intersect included a constructed personality to create a cover for Winterbottom. However, the Intersect malfunctioned, and it overwrote Winterbottom's actual personality to the point where he believed he really was the Russian arms dealer Alexei Volkoff. Stephen then spent much of the following 30 years attempting to undo the damage he caused, whereas the CIA chose to sweep it under the rug. The full capabilities of this Intersect were not disclosed in the series, or if Volkoff could consciously tap into the computer.
Shortly following Bryce Larkin's destruction of the original Intersect, the government began building another. It is currently unknown what differences existed between the first and second generation databases. The new system was nearing completion by the end of 2007; however, development may have been delayed by the theft of the Cipher by Fulcrum. The Cipher is described as "the brains of the Intersect, the most important piece". The module was installed and the system activated by Director Graham, who had brought in several of his agents to receive the subliminal imprinting. Fulcrum sabotage led to the Beta Intersect exploding, killing Graham and the agents with him.
Since then, Fulcrum agents revealed their belief that the CIA abandoned the Intersect project after the destruction of the second system and reverted to pre-existing methods to combat terrorism.
With the Destruction of the Beta Intersect (or possibly before), the rogue CIA group, Fulcrum, began constructing their own Intersect underneath the Meadow Branch suburb.
It is revealed at the aftermath of the episode that Fulcrum had almost completed a successful Intersect; however, the design was significantly flawed. Fulcrum began testing on human guinea pigs, but their Intersect had a devastating effect on the subjects, causing their brains to overload, resulting in brain-death or insanity. Rather than address the flaw, Fulcrum constructed a trial Intersect, which contained a small portion of the complete Intersect, and continued testing to find suitable candidates.
Chuck, under the guise of an unfaithful husband, uploaded the Intersect trial; this act singled him out as a suitable candidate as he survived and escaped near capture. The upload included intel identifying the Meadow Branch Corporation as a front for Fulcrum and the residents as Fulcrum agents/scientists.
Chuck was then captured in an attempt to rescue Sarah and Casey. Upon capture, he was forcibly uploaded with the Intersect; the upload has been the most devastating upload to date, causing Chuck to retreat into a state of catatonic shock. Mistaking Chuck's state for brain-death, the scientists prepared to dispose of the body, but Chuck suddenly comes to and is able to function, branding the upload a success. Chuck uses the intelligence contained in this upload for the remainder of the season, and the intelligence is differentiated from the original Intersect's by a red tinting.
The Fulcrum Intersect is also suspected of including some form of brainwashing with the encoded images. The scientists joked that the upload "should help [Chuck] get over [Sarah]". This suspicion is further confirmed with the ease that Chuck is able to convince the Fulcrum scientists that he has betrayed "Agent Walker", and allows them to test Sarah. It also explains why Fulcrum was willing to test on a candidate believed to be CIA or candidates that were not confirmed loyal to Fulcrum. Chuck, however, is able to resist any brainwashing contained in the upload and signals Casey to run the Fulcrum Intersect and expose the scientists to the same fate intended for Sarah.
Whether due to their failure to capture the original Intersect or independently early in its original development, Fulcrum attempted to reconstruct their own Intersect device. The earliest direct reference to this may be traced to "Chuck Versus the First Date", after the organization attempts to steal the Cipher.
"Chuck Versus the Dream Job" reveals that the Fulcrum Intersect project is being headed up by Ted Roark. Stephen identifies this version of the Intersect as "Intersect 2.0", and calls it his baby. The device is significantly more advanced in appearance than the original Intersect and Beta Intersect, which used a traditional PC (a modified Macintosh Classic) as its interface. Roark has been unable to complete the project, but at the end of the episode, Fulcrum captures Stephen and forces him to complete the Intersect Cube.
In "Chuck Versus the Colonel", Stephen reveals that he secretly did what he originally intended to do before being captured and successfully reconfigured the Cube to erase the Intersect images from Chuck's head, and is apparently successful after getting Chuck to watch the images. Operation Bartowski rescues Stephen Bartowski and captures Intersect 2.0 from Fulcrum.
In "Chuck Versus the Ring", Stephen reveals that he has made yet more modifications from his original design, using a new architecture as requested by the government as part of a deal. When Stephen asks Bryce Larkin what the new Intersect is for, Bryce says, "You don't want to know." Bryce was slated to receive an upload from the new Intersect, though he also brought along a device made to destroy the new Intersect along with the terminal and chamber. Bryce was mortally wounded in an ambush while entering the Intersect chamber and ordered Chuck to destroy it. However, Chuck downloaded the new system into his brain before doing so.
In addition to its intelligence data, one of the modifications to Intersect 2.0 "flashed" Chuck's memory with the knowledge of new skills; his first flash gave him the ability to do highly-advanced martial arts. As Chuck failed after six months of spy training, General Beckman told Chuck that the changes Stephen added at the government's request were designed specifically for "a real spy, like Bryce Larkin", who was cold, calculating and in total control of his emotions. Chuck's emotional nature has a direct effect on the functionality of the Intersect and makes its behavior both unpredictable and potentially dangerous to those around him; he struggles to activate the Intersect when he wants to use it, and he has trouble restraining himself from attacking Emmett Milbarge in public when provoked, as he involuntarily flashes on choking and martial arts skills.
In "Chuck Versus the Tooth" it is revealed that Intersect 2.0 is beginning to have the same effect on Chuck as the Fulcrum prototype had on the unfortunate subjects on whom it was tested. Chuck began to experience vivid nightmares that were eventually traced back to the Intersect itself, and Chuck's psychiatrist expressed concern that the Intersect may soon overwhelm Chuck's mind entirely. During the final two episodes of the third season, the condition has worsened while Chuck flashes on information or skills, causing him to suffer random flashes of information and a lingering ringing noise in his head. This prevents him from recovering from the flashes, leaving him vulnerable. Chuck's father has been working on a device he calls "the Governor", which governs his Intersect and acts as a pacemaker would to the heart. He stated in "Chuck Versus the Living Dead" that he would create one compatible to the Intersect 2.0, and he fulfilled this promise in "Chuck Versus the Subway". After being stolen by Shaw, it is returned to Chuck by Sarah and the damage healed.
In "Chuck Versus the First Fight", Chuck's mother betrays him and uses a device resembling a PlayStation Portable to neutralize the Intersect 2.0. Various methods are used to cause Chuck to flash in "Chuck Versus the Fear of Death". The strongest incentive was the knowledge that if he didn't flash, he might die. However, even this did not work. In "Chuck Versus Phase Three", evil scientists believe the information is still there, and when nothing they tried succeeded in making Chuck flash, they intended to give Chuck a lobotomy to retrieve the data. As of "Chuck Versus the Leftovers", one of Stephen's laptops restored the 2.0 or perhaps a new version into Chuck's brain.
"Chuck Versus the Nacho Sampler" revealed that the Ring was attempting to reverse-engineer the Intersect from damaged components of Intersect 2.0 they stole from the CIA after its destruction by Chuck. As part of this effort, they contracted a software engineer named Manoosh to develop a new Intersect. The results of the project were a pair of sunglasses that could "flash" an agent with Intersect 2.0 skills. Unlike the full Intersect, the portable version did not download into an agent's brain and was entirely self-contained within the device, however the extent of its capabilities are unknown, as the only flashes they have been seen to produce are on martial arts. The images during flashes were also grainier and not as clean as Chuck's. Manoosh ultimately destroyed his glasses when cornered, hoping that without a functional prototype, the Ring agents he was attempting to cheat would consider him too valuable to kill.
"Chuck Versus the Other Guy" revealed that the Ring has made substantial headway into redeveloping the Intersect by building their own prototype for the Cipher. Chuck, Sarah and Shaw managed to take possession of the Ring's Cipher during an attempt to apprehend the Director. Analysis of the component by the team later indicated numerous flaws in the design. Shaw later betrayed the team by turning over a substantial amount of data on the Intersect to the Ring to refine their prototype. Although Casey captured the Director, it is unknown how much Intersect technical data escaped. Recently, Ring agent Justin Sullivan is trying to convince Ellie Bartowski to lead him to her father. "Chuck Versus the Living Dead" reveals that they want the Governor Stephen has developed to control the harmful electrical surges that gradually eat away at the host's brain during flashes.
The Ring completed development of their own Intersect following the apparent death of Shaw, who was later revealed to have survived his wounds. Despite the Ring's failure in securing the Governor to manage the dangerous system flaws, Shaw uploaded the system into his brain.
As with the original Intersect and Intersect 2.0, the Ring's system was housed in a chamber completely lined with video terminals, which uploads the contents of the computer into the host's brain. The Ring's Intersect is activated by means of a hand-print scanner, which confirms the identity of the user before activation. It lacks the Cube present in Intersect 2.0, and the PC terminal interface of the original, Beta, and 2.0 systems. Upon activation, a burst of green energy fires from the control console into the floor, which triggers the actual activation of the monitors. It is unknown if the Ring Intersect causes the same post-upload disorientation of the previous versions, however Shaw appears to enter the same semi-trance state Chuck is seen in while the Intersect uploads. "Chuck Versus the Subway" and "Chuck Versus the Ring: Part II" confirm that Shaw is subject to the same moment of disorientation during a flash that Chuck experiences. It is revealed in "Chuck Versus the Subway" that Shaw suffers the same neurological damage as Chuck and Stephen, when he steals Chuck's Governor. Sarah retrieved it from Shaw after he was knocked out. In "Chuck Versus the Santa Suit", Shaw's mental state has severely diminished, though whether this was caused by the absence of a Governor or his desire for revenge is unclear.
In "Chuck Versus the Leftovers", a backup of the Intersect is stored on one of Stephen's laptops that is found in Ellie's car. After it is fixed by the Buy More employees, in return for medical help from Devon, Ellie activates it and it asks her "Knock, Knock". She responds with "I'm Here" and the laptop activates. It presents her a memory problem which she solves by doing MRIs on herself. She saw that Stephen was trying to store information in the brain but was going about it the way of an engineer, and not how the brain actually stores information. She uploads this information into the computer and it prompts for another password "1 or 11". She doesn't know the answer to this question. Later after they have had dinner with Frost and Volkoff, Devon gives the laptop to Chuck. Realizing the question is a reference to blackjack, Chuck inputs as a password "Aces, Charles" and the laptop activates again, and flashes (essentially repeats the original process from Bryce's email) Chuck with a version of the Intersect.
It is revealed in "Chuck Versus the A-Team" that laptop has come into the possession of Director Jane Bentley. It is then uploaded to agents Richard Noble and Victoria Dunwoody who are members of the Greta program. When the Gretas are found to be less effective Intersects than Chuck, their Intersects are removed from their brains. Noble expresses relief at having it out, suggesting that the Intersect causes discomfort to those whose brains are not well-suited for it. After failed attempts to decode the laptop, Bentley returns it to Ellie in the hopes that she will be more successful.
In the first episodes of the fifth season, the Intersect Morgan downloaded provided intel and abilities, but it came at a cost. Morgan's personality became much more self-serving, egotistical and reckless, driving him to join a rival company and betray Carmichael Industries. However, it was later discovered that this version of Intersect was created to erase the recipient's personality and memories, much in the way the Intersect used on Hartley Winterbottom overwrote the scientist's personality and created Alexei Volkoff. While the Intersect was removed later on, Morgan's long-term memories - especially regarding his fondness for movies - were not restored, requiring him to relearn everything.
Nicholas Quinn had acquired similar Trojan Intersect glasses, but Morgan stole them and hid them at the Buy More located in Vail, Colorado. Team Bartowski later retrieved these glasses to keep Quinn from locating them. Sarah later uploads the Intersect into herself to save Chuck from Quinn. In "Chuck Versus the Bullet Train", since Sarah flashed forty times within two days, Ellie theorizes that the constant flashes are what causes memory loss. Quinn uses it to his advantage when he captures Sarah and forces her to view Intersect images, brainwashing her into believing that he's her handler and Chuck is her enemy. He has her steal a new Intersect, which he modifies with The Key contained in Beckman's badge. Chuck then uploads the new Intersect after Quinn's death.
In "Chuck Versus the Santa Suit", Daniel Shaw intended to use the Omen virus to clear all of the data out of CIA computers and put it in his head using the Macao device. The government would therefore be dependent on him for all intelligence. Chuck infected the Intersect with the Omen virus, causing it to wipe The Ring's Intersect from Shaw's mind.
Revealed in Chuck Versus the Goodbye, The Intersect 3.0 was to be designed much the way Stephen Bartowski originally intended the Intersect to be used: as a teaching tool. It was created so that some one may, not only get the benefits of the current Intersect, but could also learn new abilities and information. This revelation was the key to restoring Sarah's memory; Ellie was convinced that she could reprogram the Intersect 3.0 to include most, if not all, of Sarah's memories with Chuck using their wedding footage, Sarah's spy log and other hard data personal information Chuck's family and friend could acquire. Whether or not this would have been successful is uncertain, as Chuck had to use the single download of the Intersect 3.0 into his own mind in order to save General Beckman.
The Intersect 3.0 is believed to be the final version of the Intersect.
A user who has subliminally retained the Intersect data receives feedback from it in the form of what have been labeled "flashes" by Operation Bartowski. In "Chuck Versus the Zoom", Morgan Grimes refers to the flash as a zoom.
In each case, the flash itself is virtually instantaneous; however, the user experiences brief disorientation as he flashes. Chuck's handlers have learned to spot the subtle indicators (with spotty accuracy, so they frequently ask him if he has flashed), such as Chuck briefly going slightly cross-eyed and fluttering his eyelids, rapid wide-eyed blinking or suddenly exhaling and catching his breath. Another clue is Chuck suddenly showing fear as a result of passively flashing (see below) on something dangerous, something that has become less common as Chuck has progressed as a spy. Otherwise, there is little external indication that such an event has occurred. Having several flashes in a row results in greater disorientation, and Chuck believes after the first such occurrence he will have a headache.
"Chuck Versus the Ring" revealed Stephen Bartowski has an early version of the Intersect in his head, which is apparently inferior to the finished product. His flashes apparently take longer than Chuck's, and the flash makes him momentarily go weak.
"Chuck Versus the Tooth" revealed that the Intersect is capable of interacting directly with the host's subconscious rather than merely residing in it, creating vivid dreams that can provide much of the same information as a typical passive flash. However due to the nature of how this information is processed, the resulting imagery is highly disjointed, surreal and confusing. CIA psychiatrist Dr. Leo Dreyfus has indicated the government is aware of the possibility of side effects, however too little is known about the science behind the Intersect to draw definite conclusions on the meaning of this interaction. Stephen Bartowski reveals in "Chuck Versus the Living Dead" that flashes make use of the brain's own electrical impulses and synaptic processes, and that a flash is simply a large electrical surge in the brain. It is this surge which poses a danger of overloading and damaging the Intersect host's brain. At the beginning of "Chuck Versus the Subway", Chuck experiences pain as he flashes on a voice recognition, and further flashes cause longer durations of pain where Chuck is vulnerable, leading up to Chuck's attempt to recover the Governor, where Chuck is completely defenseless and bordering on either a coma or death.
Additionally, the Intersect is fully capable of functioning even if the host's senses are impaired. Chuck successfully flashed on martial arts while heavily drugged in "Chuck Versus the Tooth" and was able to physically perform the stored techniques. However some degree of control is still required from the host's senses to successfully use these skill flashes, as Chuck proved unable to connect against any of his assailants.
Until the end of the second season, flashes were always passive events. The human Intersect, upon seeing or hearing something related to intelligence in the Intersect database, quickly recalls the related information (e.g., Chuck sees a face, and suddenly knows things about the person that were known to the NSA and/or CIA). Once the subject has retrieved the data, it remains accessible without needing an additional flash to pull it up a second time.
The intelligence revealed through passive flashes is not always completely clear and can be open to interpretation, or potentially even error. As a result, actions based on the flash alone may be prone to mistakes, so depending on how imminent the threat is, Chuck typically reports his flashes to his handlers and they report that information to their supervisors to get secondary intelligence and work out a plan for addressing the threat.
Passive flashes can be triggered by a broad spectrum of stimuli, including both visual and auditory cues, which includes both in-context keywords and full voice-recognition. Visual triggers include personal distinguishing characteristics such as scars, tattoos, fingerprints and full faces. Another major class of visual trigger is objects, from tiny devices to buildings. In one case, Chuck detects counterfeit currency by its serial number. He can even recall intelligence by looking at the innocuous picture in which it was originally encoded in the Intersect.
"Chuck Versus the First Kill" introduces a new passive capability of the Intersect, in which Chuck can gather information from multiple sources and combine them in one flash. This is demonstrated when he and Casey infiltrate a Fulcrum recruiting office. He begins to flash on one of the Fulcrum operatives, but before retrieving the data on him checks several other people in the room and pulls their files as well. Previously, when flashing on multiple people, he only flashed on them one at a time.
In "Chuck Versus the Dream Job", Stephen Bartowski orders Chuck to use the Intersect in his head to perform a task, namely cracking a Feistel cipher to open a door in the Roark Instruments campus, which was shown to be beyond Sarah and Casey's technical ability earlier in the episode. Chuck protests that unless the data is already inside his head, he can't flash. Stephen explains that as a designer of the Intersect, he knows its capabilities, and he tells Chuck to flash intentionally, which Chuck is able to do almost immediately with a little concentration. This is the first clue that the Intersect is more than a database, and can grant abilities as well. Chuck repeats this feat on various safes and code-protected doors after downloading the Intersect 2.0.
In "Chuck Versus the Ring", Chuck activates the modified Intersect 2.0. Flashes from Intersect 2.0 can grant Chuck entirely new abilities in addition to the old ones, such as suddenly knowing kung fu, a foreign language or how to play the guitar. He flashes on these skills just as they become useful for solving problems, which in "Chuck Versus the Ring" occurred just as Sarah was put in mortal danger. Actor Zachary Levi has confirmed that the new abilities provided by the Intersect will have a glitch and won't last. Part of the third season will therefore focus on Chuck learning to use and control the new abilities of Intersect 2.0.
In early episodes of the third season, these skill flashes are shown to be able to directly control Chuck, or cause him to react automatically to the source of the flash. In "Chuck Versus the Pink Slip" he had to make a concerted effort to resist throttling Emmett, while in "Chuck Versus Operation Awesome" he launched into an angry tirade against a customer berating her in Thai after she complained to him in the same language and reflexively kicked Lester in the face as Lester attempted to imitate Steven Seagal. Chuck was also concerned that if he allowed himself to access the Intersect while sparring with Sarah, it would lead him to hurt her.
The show alerts the viewer to what a human Intersect is flashing on with a distinct visual and audio cue. In addition to the brief effects on the subject's face as noted above, there are distinct sounds played throughout the flash.
The first operational Intersect showed a generally unrelated "key image" - apparently the image in which the data was encoded when transferred to the brain—at the beginning and end of the flash. In between are a quick and uninterrupted series of pictures that show information such as photos, documents and legible text related to the data. The flash may also contain surveillance video or animated graphics illustrating voice recognition and the like.
In "Chuck Versus the Suburbs", a new whooshing sound is placed at the beginning of Chuck's flash. The sound was used for the rest of Season 2, and in Season 3, the whooshing starts off every flash, but still has the regular flash sounds in the middle of the flash.
The Fulcrum Intersect is similar, but the images are distinguished from the original Intersect by red tinting. It also sometimes includes the Fulcrum symbol/logo.
The prototype Intersect that Stephen Bartowski tested on himself has passive flashes consisting of images that appear one at a time, with gaps in between, in a slower fashion than Chuck's flashes.
With the introduction of Intersect 2.0 in the Season 2 finale, "Chuck Versus the Ring", the visual style of Chuck's new flashes is a zoom-through the pupil of his eye, with images related to the skill being learned. A modified version of the effect was used in Season 3, with clearer images symbolizing the new skill. The Ring Intersect differs only in the color of the images of the skill set Shaw is flashing on.
Uploading the Intersect to one's brain has a powerful physiological effect. Those who are not capable of retaining Intersect data are usually overloaded and rendered catatonic; even those who are capable register a significant experience of disorientation or unconsciousness.
FK Ribnica season 2007–08
Fictional secret agents and spies
Charles Irving "Chuck" Bartowski is the main and title role character of the American fiction television show Chuck on NBC. He is portrayed by Zachary Levi. UGO.com named him one of the best TV nerds.
At the outset of the show, Chuck Bartowski is presented as a twenty something underachiever who lives in the Echo Park Section of Los Angeles, California and works at a dead end job at the Burbank Buy More in its Nerd Herd division (a fictionalized Geek Squad). Chuck's life stalled after his college roommate, Bryce Larkin, planted test answers under Chuck's bed and then reported him to the officials, which led to Chuck's expulsion from Stanford University (where he was a scholarship student) in 2003 — only twelve credits shy of completing his Bachelor of Engineering degree. For a long time, Chuck hated Bryce for his betrayal, but he later learns that Bryce got him expelled to protect him from being recruited into the CIA because he knew Chuck wouldn't survive in the field. He also lost his college girlfriend, Jill Roberts (Jordana Brewster). Following his expulsion, Chuck moved in with his sister and began working at the Burbank, California branch of Buy More. At some point over the next five years Chuck becomes the Nerd Herd supervisor.