Alexei Volkoff was the identity that Hartley's Intersect created when implanted in Hartley Winterbottom. Some time ago, when working on the Intersect, the CIA assigned him a mission to go undercover. Hartley Winterbottom took the cover of fictitious international arms dealer, Alexei Volkoff. Upon learning this, Stephen uploaded the Intersect into Hartley's head, attempting to aid his cover.
Eventually, his Intersect became corrupt, erasing everything that made him Hartley, and replacing it with the attributes of his cover identity. It seems reasonable to assume his intersect became corrupt due to the lack of a Governor. Mary Bartowski (Linda Hamilton) was sent into the organization he founded, Volkoff Industries, to ensure his safety. Alexei/Hartley was the primary antagonist of Season 4.
Alexei Volkoff was the head and founder of Volkoff Industries, an international arms dealing company whose base of operations is in Moscow, Russia. Volkoff is the reason for Mary Bartowski leaving her family prior to the series, as she was assigned by the CIA to bring down his network.
In "Chuck Versus the Cubic Z", Chuck flashes on another piece Volkoff Industries equipment. It reveals Volkoff's profile which states that he is a male, about 5'10 - 6'2, who speaks Russian, German and English. It also mentioned that he was indicted in New York for his involvement in arms trafficking. The top of the poster claims he is wanted for "Conspiracy to kill United States nationals, to murder, to destroy buildings and property of the United States, and to destroy the national defense utilities of the United States".
Volkoff, in his own words, is a hopeless romantic. He enjoys painting, poems, and tends to relax himself with “Requiem: Dies Irae” by Mozart. Volkoff has shown to be deeply caring towards Mary Bartowski, and it turns out he is in love with her. He also appears to be genuinely affected by his daughter's betrayal in Chuck Versus the Family Volkoff and appears to be willing to change his ways while in jail.
After learning that Orion was Mary's husband and Chuck's father, he becomes competitive as he is under the illusion that Orion was still alive. He tries his best to earn Mary's love - when she declares to him that "Stephen will always be ten times a better man than you", he responds that he would bring back Orion's body.
Overall despite his ruthlessness in the criminal trade he does appear to have a sense of honour in how he respects Mary's desire to not to involve Ellie and Devon in his dealings with Team Bartowski and also seems to be a genuinely normal person given his interactions with Chuck and others when his company and business dealings aren't involved.
Relationship with Mary Edit
When Volkoff discovers that Chuck is still alive and escaped the destruction of Stephen's secret base, he assigns Mary to escort three of their best assassins to kill Chuck. He becomes more cautious - without knowing Mary's involvement in helping Chuck escape, he assumes he has underestimated Chuck.
After three of his men were killed and Mary goes missing, he launches a full-scale assault with his operatives against the Buy More, knowing that Castle is just underneath it. He demands the CIA and NSA release Mary, and awkwardly even asks her if they had fed her well. Chuck and Sarah escort her to the Buy More, aware that Volkoff is in love with her, where Chuck is later about to be killed by Volkoff. Mary tells him to stop, and finally admits that Chuck is her son. on discovering this, he compels Chuck to "invite" him to the family's thanksgiving dinner.
Volkoff then joins the Bartowski family's thanksgiving dinner, trying to prove to Mary that "kids love him". After Ellie and Devon leave dinner because of a staged hospital emergency call, Sarah and Chuck attempt to arrest Volkoff, only to be surrounded by his men. Mary then has Volkoff at gunpoint, forcing him to let them go, as she "could never love a man" who would threaten her son. He immediately has every one of his operatives retreat, and leaves everyone unharmed.
In "Chuck Versus the Push Mix", Volkoff appears to enjoy sending video calls to Mary. At the time, Mary was aiding Sarah in stealing the data from the Hydra network in his office. When Mary received a video call from him, she immediately positions herself in the dark corner of the office and answers the call. He even smooches at the phone during a video call with her.
Volkoff also appears to be deeply in love with Mary. Even after finding out later in the season that she was always in deep cover in his organization to find the Hydra, he still treats her well and attempts to win her love by volunteering to kill Orion, who unbeknownst to him, was actually Chuck all along, who had been staging a cyber-assault on his headquarters....
Series Development Edit
First appearing in "Chuck Versus the First Fight", Chuck meets him under the assumed name of Gregory Tuttle; he is originally presented as Frost's enthusiastic, if bumbling and completely inexperienced in the matters of field-work, MI6 handler. With Chuck's assistance, Tuttle escapes Volkoff's agents and helps Chuck recover data that would clear Mary and prove she has been in deep cover to bring down his organization. However, after being apparently wounded in a gunfight while recovering the disks, Tuttle reveals himself as Volkoff and that the entire operation was a plan to locate and destroy Stephen's intelligence. He attempts to kill Chuck and Sarah in the explosion that destroys Stephen's work, but was, unbeknownst to him, betrayed by Mary, who left a means for them to escape.
Later in the season, Volkoff is alone in his headquarters, when the entire building suffers a power failure, and upon accessing the computer network in his office, a message tells him that "I want my wife back". He then begins to think that Orion is still alive. This revelation causes him to panic greatly, as he immediately goes onto a vessel named The Contessa, where he stored a backup Hydra network, lest Orion hack into it.
Chuck, Sarah, Morgan and Mary attempt to access the Hydra network on his vessel, but they are captured. Volkoff is taken off-guard and wounded by Mary's betrayal. Despite this, he still loves her, and has her to look at the interface of his network, where he received a new message from Orion, telling them to meet at Stephen's house. When Volkoff arrives, he finds out that it was Chuck all along who staged the messages on Volkoff's networks, pretending to be Orion. However, Chuck later manages to have Volkoff unwittingly speak each element of the password to his network, which Morgan is able to re-edit and use to gain access. It was instantly received by Orion's secret computers hidden in the house, where the system began downloading the Hydra. When he realizes his mistake, Volkoff points out that Chuck cannot leave the house as he (Volkoff) has his operatives surrounding the area.
Chuck answers the knock on the door to the house, revealing General Beckman herself and a large unit soldiers waiting outside the cabin to arrest Volkoff. Before departing for prison, he says to Chuck "Tell your mom to come visit me".
Hydra Network Edit
Main article: Hydra Network
While General Beckman admired Sarah's dedication in helping rescue Chuck's mom, Beckman "had to" have her arrested for treason, and so the seeds were sown for Volkoff to welcome and embrace Sarah's presence in his organization. Sarah immediately sets about earning Volkoff's trust and has possibly built up as much respect as Mary.
As Sarah goes into deep cover into Volkoff Industries, she discovers that Volkoff secretly monitors his agents and controls their actions through a network, called the Hydra. Mary, however, appears to have been aware of the network, as she has always taken extreme caution while on weapons transactions, and has shot Chuck in the past to avoid suspicion of her true affiliation. Volkoff then has Sarah assigned on a mission to break his former bodyguard Yuri Gobrienko out of federal prison.
When Yuri returns to Volkoff's headquarters, Volkoff kills him and begins extracting his eyeball - he explains to both Sarah and Mary that the Hydra network is actually Yuri's fake eyeball. Volkoff begins uploading all of the data in the Hydra onto a vessel called The Contessa. After the upload is finished, he immediately destroys the eyeball, although Mary furtively picks up the fragments of the device and has Sarah pass them on to Casey.
Mary and Sarah are later brought to The Contessa, where Volkoff stays with them out of fear that Orion is still alive, after previously encountering several hackings in his Hydra network in his office. Later, Chuck and Morgan are aboard and began searching for the network, where they team up with Sarah and Mary to enter the database hidden in the ship. After reaching the network, Chuck begins tampering with the machines, which causes Volkoff to later find a message in the Hydra interface aboard the ship that tells him to meet Orion at Stephen's house.
Agent X Edit
In "Chuck Versus Agent X", it is revealed that Agent X is the codename of Hartley Winterbottom who was a MI6 scientist, and the first human Intersect. The episode also reveals that he had maintained a close friendship with Stephen Bartowski (codename Orion). But when the Intersect malfunctioned, Hartley began believing he was actually his cover identity - Alexei Volkoff - and became a genuine international arms dealer, although some subconscious memories seemed to linger, as evidenced by him naming his daughter Vivian, later revealed to be a Winterbottom family name.
Orion originally built the Intersect to assist Hartley in going undercover in an arms dealing organization as Alexei Vokoff. The Intersect gave Hartley a new identity and a different personality. Slowly corrupting his mind, he began losing all memories of his life as Hartley, and assumed that Agent X was a threat to the organization he ran.
Prior to the discovery of the identity of Agent X, in the episode "Chuck Versus the Family Volkoff", his daughter Vivian, now the head of the organization, has put out a contract on the life of Agent X, to consolidate her position by completing what she thinks her father could never do.
The character name was first used for the head of security at the Russian embassy in DC in another McG produced series "Human Target", ep 103, filmed in the fall of 2009 which aired on Jan. 26, 2010. The first mention of Alexei Volkoff in the "Chuck" franchise was in ep "Chuck Versus the Cubic Z", filmed in April of 2010 and airing in October, but the character was never introduced until ep "Chuck Versus the First Fight".