Chuck Versus Operation Awesome
Season 03, Episode 04
Air Date January 18, 2010
Writer Zev Borow
Director Robert Duncan McNeill
Previous "Chuck Versus the Angel of Death"
Next "Chuck Versus First Class"

Chuck Versus Operation Awesome is the fourth episode of the third season of Chuck, which aired on January 18, 2010.

Synopsis Edit

When Captain Awesome is kidnapped, he is interrogated by Ring operative Sydney Prince (guest star Angie Harmon), who has been keeping tabs on him, as she (very understandably) mistakes him for the spy in the family. Devon is then used by Team Bartowski to get to the Ring. Chuck coaches Devon in this situation, with Chuck having to become Captain Awesome's handler in order to save him from the Ring.

Meanwhile, Big Mike promotes Morgan to Assistant Manager.

Full Plot Edit

Main Story Edit

Starting with the cliffhanger left in the previous episode, the opening scene sees Devon being held atop a skyscraper in Los Angeles at night, by a female Ring agent called Sydney. She believes Devon is a spy, mistaking him for Chuck, who was involved in protecting Allejandro Goya in the last episode. Despite his claims that he is just a doctor, she perceives him to be a spy, and convinces him to work for her by forcing him to look down at the cityscape below.

At Castle the next day, the team attempts to locate Devon, and Chuck begins to panic. Eventually, Sarah and Casey convince him to calm down and go to work at the Buy More. However, due to his agitated state, Chuck cannot control the Intersect and threatens a Thai customer in her native language, before kicking Lester in the face and knocking him to the ground. Just then, Sarah arrives, and Lester gets up, thrilled rather than angry at Chuck's beating. He is exhilarated to such an extent that he goads Chuck to repeat his performance. When Chuck refuses, he turns to Jeff, and as Sarah talks to Chuck, Lester punches Jeff in the background. Chuck panics when he learns that they haven't yet located Devon, however just at that moment Devon enters the store alone and unharmed. He says one sentence, "They think I'm a spy.

In Castle, Devon is briefed by Beckman and the others, fully identifying Sydney Prince, the head of a Ring cell in Los Angeles and has tried to recruit several government agents. Furthermore, Devon was given a Ring phone, which works off a closed network. Thanks to him, the NSA can finally crack its encryption. Chuck feels satisfied about all this and insists that he get Devon back to Ellie before she "has an aneurysm." However, Beckman says that he can't do that yet, not until they figure out how to use Devon. Chuck objects to exploiting his family, but Beckman overrules him, citing it as the only way to get access and protect him. Sydney won't go to her superiors with Devon's identity unless definitively knows where she has turned or burned him. Therefore, they need to capture her.

When they returned to Casa Bartowski, Devon is concerned over what to tell Ellie, as he is a bad liar. At that moment, Ellie, having heard his voice, comes out and asks where he been. Devon weakly tries coming up with a story about tangling with a bear, before he and Chuck fib that he was helping Casey out of a drunken binge.

Later that night, at Casey's apartment, Chuck is instructed to be Devon's handler, as Sarah was to him. Devon then comes knocking on the door, having received a package. Once they're inside, he contacts Sydney using the communicator, whilst being watched by the team. Sydney instructs him to put on the earpiece before telling him to enter a specific downtown office building called the Crystal Towers, claiming the guards will be "nothing you can't handle". He is then told that once he has done this, he should wait for further instruction, and informed that the earpiece he is wearing contains an explosive device which Sydney can detonate remotely if he attempts to remove it or if he does not comply with her orders. Horrified, Devon moves to take off the earpiece but the team stop him.

The team arrive in a black van at the office building, and Chuck, Sarah and Casey wait in the van whilst Devon leaves and enters the office building. He is stopped by security who inquire why he is here. Characteristically, Devon is a bad liar (confirmed on the numerous occasions he has had to lie to Ellie to hide Chuck's secret life), and he beings to panic, but the security guard comforts him, thinking that he wants to make a confession of homosexuality. Realizing Devon needs his help, Chuck leaves the van and enters the building, tranquilizing the security guard and leading Devon up to their destination on the twelfth floor. Chuck and Devon are confronted by several guards in a corridor, but Chuck flashes and learns how to use his Tranq Gun more efficiently, easily dispatching the guards. Devon is astounded, but receives instructions from Sydney to cut out one of the guard's eyes for the retinal scanner to kill the man in the room ahead. Devon is shocked at the first order, as he had taken an oath not to even mutilate someone. Chuck has a better idea: haul one of the guard's unconscious body and pull up his eyelid for the retinal scan. The pair enter a room, realizing it is a CIA installation, and they warn Sarah and Casey, who have spotted Sydney headed through the building. However, when Sarah and Casey attempt to leave the van, they realize they are locked in, and Beckman informs them that the operation was a setup.

Meanwhile, Chuck and Devon enter the room, where Chuck tells Devon to hide, and Chuck confronts the man they are supposed to kill. Chuck tries to explain the the man why they are there, but the man interrupts them, instructing Chuck to do as Sydney said and kill him, and then gives him a note to read once Sydney is done. Chuck, not ready to kill someone, hesitates, so the man takes a pill, points the gun at himself and fires, killing himself and handing Chuck the gun. Devon, who is behind cover, gets up just in time to see the man fall to the ground. Thinking Chuck killed him, he is horrified, but Chuck can't explain before Sydney arrives. Handing Devon the gun, Chuck hides himself just as she enters, so it looks like Devon killed the man. Sydney checks for a pulse, and, satisfied, removes the explosive earpiece and hands Devon a Ring Communicator, saying "Welcome to the Ring" before leaving. Chuck then opens up the note given to him by the man, which reads "MED KIT IN DESK. THE DRUG IS AMIODARONE. SAVE ME." Devon draws on his medical expertise, and realizes that amiodarone stops a man's heartbeat for a few minutes, thereby fooling Sydney into believing the man was dead. Quickly, he administers a shot of adrenaline from the first aid cabinet, and the man is revived, introducing himself to be Daniel Shaw.

Later, at Castle, Beckman formally introduces Shaw, a CIA agent who has been working on the Ring for five years and will be in charge of Operation Bartowski. Also, he has been debriefed on the Intersect. As Beckman signs off, Chuck raises the issue of Sydney still knowing about Devon. Shaw assures him that the Ring operates in decentralized cells. If they catch Sydney, then they can contain Devon's identity, meaning that he has to be a mole in Sydney's cell, but once again Chuck refuses to allow his involvement. Behind the team's back, Chuck hacks into the Ring Communicator in at the loading area of Buy More and calls Sydney, revealing himself to be the real spy, not Devon. Assuming his ability to hack into the Ring Communicator meant he must be telling the truth, Sydney agrees to meet at the Buy More, where Chuck will attempt to lay a trap. However, though he manages to alert Casey and Sarah and tells them to meet him at the Buy More, Shaw refuses, saying that Chuck got himself into this mess, so he should get himself out for it. He also seems intrigued to discover what Chucks plan really is. At gunpoint, Shaw orders Casey and Sarah to stay put, leaving Chuck alone at the Buy More. Chuck now realizes his plan (to use himself as bait and allow Casey and Sarah to dispatch the guards) cannot work, and he panics as Sydney and the Ring agents enter the store. Due to this, he cannot flash when he confronts the agents, and instead runs into the storage depot at the back of the store, hiding underneath a desk just as two agents are sent to investigate. Eventually, Sarah and Casey manage to escape Castle by calling Shaw's bluff, and rush over to the Buy More to help Chuck. While Casey engages the guys in front Chuck hooks a car battery up to the storage cage walls, which electrocutes and incapacitates one of the agents when he touches the handle, and he fires his gun as he is electrocuted, fatally killing the other agent. Sarah engages in hand-to-hand combat with Sydney, who soon defeats Sarah, but Chuck takes one of the dead agents guns and turns it on Sydney, who brushes him off and leaves out the back.

Sydney runs out onto the loading bay, where Chuck holds her at gunpoint. Sydney doesn't believe Chuck can take the shot, and so she threatens to call her superiors to pressure Chuck into shooting. Slowly, she begins taking a hidden knife from the back of her trousers, just as Sarah arrives behind Chuck with a gun pointed at Sydney. A shot rings out, and Shaw appears from behind cover, revealing himself as the killer. During the debrief in Castle, Casey and Chuck tell off Shaw for nearly ruining the setup and risking Chuck's family in the process. However, Shaw admonishes Chuck for not taking the shot, but when he turns to Sarah for confirmation of his beliefs she stays loyal to Chuck, defending him by saying "sometimes it helps to have something to lose".

Chuck returns home for dinner with Ellie and Devon, and Sarah and Casey join them. Chuck takes a moment to drink in the sight of his friends and family happily eating together before joining them. Shaw watches CCTV footage of them all from Castle, before eyeing a ring in his possession, and slipping it onto his finger, signaling the end of the episode.

Buy More Edit

Morgan is called into Big Mike's office, and informed that Big Mike believes he has the respect of his co-workers enough to justify a promotion to Assistant Manager. Morgan happily accepts, only to find that the staff are nowhere to be found. After getting kicked when Chuck flashed in the Buy More, Lester has become obsessed with the thrill of fighting, to the point of organizing fights in the supply cage at the back of the store. All the store's staff are involved, so Morgan takes it upon himself as Assistant Manager to sort the mess out. As he enters, a scared man is seen attempting to leave the cage and get out of fighting, to which Lester responds by hooking a car battery up to the cage walls and electrocuting him (the same system used later by Chuck to take out the guards). Morgan successfully stops the fights, however, he loses the respect of Lester and Jeff who begin referring to him as "Ass Man" (a play on ASSistant MANager). After Morgan is continually teased and insulted by his co-workers, he approaches first Chuck then Big Mike for advice. Big Mike repeats what Chuck said in a more direct way: "Don't you ever watch Animal Planet? Find the wounded gazelle and POUNCE!" Morgan decides making an example of Lester will return his authority, and as such he singles him out and fires him. Immediately, Lester begs for his job back, and in a moment of mercy, Morgan agrees, but places him under "double secret probation".

Guest Stars Edit

Trivia Edit

  • The episode features numerous references to the movie Fight Club. Jeff's lines "I want you to hit me as hard as you can" and "The first rule of Fight--" which is cut off. Lester's red sunglasses even resemble those worn by Tyler Durden.
  • Lester's line, "Morgan, come out and play" is a parody of a line from the movie The Warriors, about rival gangs of fighters. The Warrior's rivals say "Warriors, come out and play".
  • The concept of "double secret probation" was invented by Dean Wormer in "Animal House".


Chuck: There's something you need to know about me, Shaw. There's nothing in my life that I care about more than my friends and my family. Of course, I don't expect you to understand being the spy that you are. I'm sure that you don't care about anybody.

Shaw: Families and friends make us vulnerable. Make us unable to pull the trigger. And that puts everyone in greater danger. Just ask your partner here. She'll tell you the same thing.

Sarah: Sometimes it helps to know you've got something to lose.

Music Edit

  • Spoon – “Got Nuffin”
  • Sam Isaac – “Bears”
  • Dust Brothers – “Space Monkeys”

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