Chuck Versus the Anniversary
Season 04, Episode 01
Air Date September 20, 2010
Writer Chris Fedak
Director Robert Duncan McNeill
Previous Chuck Versus the Ring: Part 2
Next Chuck Versus the Suitcase

Chuck Versus the Anniversary is the first episode of the fourth season of Chuck, which aired on September 20, 2010.

Synopsis Edit

When the CIA gains control over the Buy More, Chuck begins searching for his mother (Linda Hamilton). Meanwhile, Sarah and Casey follow a trail to Russia as they investigate the mysterious Volkoff Industries and its operative, Marco (Dolph Lundgren).

Back at home, Ellie delivers big news to her family. Guest starring Harry Dean Stanton, and Olivia Munn as the first agent Greta, Greta 1.

Full Plot Edit


Weapons menu

In the Bartowski home at Encino, CA 1994, Mrs. Bartowski (Linda Hamilton) reads her son Chuck a bedtime story. She eventually finishes the story and gets up to leave saying she'll be back in a few days. The scene changes to 2010, in the basement of that house, where Chuck is reading his father's research into his mother's whereabouts, where it is confirmed that she was a spy. Desiring to know the truth as to why his mother never came back, he asks Morgan to help him find her, and to keep it a secret, as Sarah and Casey would try to stop him.

The scene then changes to Echo Park, where Sarah is arming up for a mission with Casey without Chuck, as the latter has quit the CIA. They both give their good-bye kisses before Casey comes in and becomes disgusted. Once they leave, Chuck and Morgan travel all over the world in search of clues as to where his mother could be, until they arrive back in Los Angeles at Mary's safehouse, where she supposedly got all of her missions during Chuck's childhood. They find and open a safe, only to find it empty. Their only clue is a menu Morgan finds for a Chinese dumpling shop called Imperial Dragons, with a stylized Asian logo on the cover in red and black. Morgan suggests starting the search for Mary from scratch, but Chuck gives up entirely. The scene then turns to a security camera, and shows Mary sympathetically watching them.

The two start walking to their car when a repo man (Harry Dean Stanton) threatens to shoot them if they don't give him the keys. He takes the car and drives off. When Chuck questions why Morgan is in debt on a $900 loan, Morgan confides in him that their journey has left them $43,000 in debt.

Meanwhile, Sarah and Casey are on a mission in Hong Kong, where they are chasing a man named Marco (Dolph Lundgren), who is holding a Handheld EMP Device, made by Volkoff Industries. They chase him up a skyscraper, where he is given orders to use the device, shutting off power in the city within a 3 mile radius. Sarah manages to knock him out when he expected them to surrender before claiming the device. Casey then complains to her that having Chuck with them would've made this much easier; he doesn't admit to her that he misses him. Volkoff's men arrive, but Sarah and Casey escape with the device by jumping off the building with parachutes.

Back in Burbank, Chuck wakes to Morgan taking a snapshot of him topless, claiming that this will help his relationship with Sarah; sexting, he calls it, as in sending attractive photos via cell phone. Chuck refuses the thought and goes through a series of strange job interviews, in which the interviewers fall asleep, get sick, have convulsions, disappear and have Chuck escorted away. Chuck and Morgan return in desperation to the Buy More.

A senior Nerd Herd employee codenamed "Greta" (Olivia Munn) informs Chuck and Morgan when they arrive that, although the store is not yet open for business, they are looking for new employees. When Chuck reluctantly goes to the manager's office in search of a Nerd Herd position, he finds General Beckman, who has taken over as the new manager, using at least her real forename, Diane, for her cover. She explains that the Buy More has been rebuilt by the CIA and NSA, and is predominantly — if not fully — staffed by government operatives and analysts.

Greta gives Morgan a classified tour of the base and acknowledges her awareness of his and Chuck's billets as operatives. Beckman forcibly reinstates Morgan and Chuck to the CIA, stating the President made Chuck a priority, thus she immediately reneged on her promise to keep him out of the spy world. She also subtly hints that she sabotaged his interviews. Chuck then gets a call from Sarah, who is in the new Castle, who assures him that he doesn't need to be a spy. Chuck tries saying "no" to Beckman, only to be dropped down a trapdoor into Castle. Casey then shows him the EMP generator, triggering a flash on Volkoff Industries, and a manufacturing facility in Venezuela. Casey explains to a confused Chuck that an arms dealer named Alexei Volkoff is responsible and they are going to take him down.

Sarah then confronts Chuck with topless photo of him, which he assures her was Morgan's idea. As Sarah closes the case for the EMP, Chuck notices that the red and black logo on the case is the same one that was on the Imperial Dragons menu. Chuck and Morgan go to the repo man's holding lot to get the menu out of Morgan's repossessed car, nearly losing the menu when the repo man expresses a liking for good Chinese food. Back in the hidden basement of Chuck's childhood home, Morgan notices a few menu items which are not Chinese food, and one of them triggers a flash on military equipment for submarines. Using his dad's encrypted phone so that his call can't be traced, Chuck pretends to be a member of the New Ring and arranges a meeting at Volkoff's facility in Moscow.

As Sarah and Casey take a private plane to Venezuela, the former privately takes photos of herself with her cell phone. Unfortunately, Marco is on board, incapacitates them and has the plane diverted to Moscow. Chuck and Morgan soon arrive at Volkoff Industries. Once Chuck flashes on the room where he could find the necessary information on his mother, they both bolt and evade security.

While Chuck is busy hacking Volkoff computers, Sarah and Casey are tied up elsewhere in the building. Sarah is able to knock out a guard with her foot while he was viewing the photos on her cell. She attempts to text Chuck to alert Beckman, but Morgan is on the receiving end. He presumes Sarah was sexting before he finally catches on after several messages and tells Chuck.

Meanwhile, Marco discovers Sarah texting and mocks the thought that they think that help is coming. He then interrogates them as to the identities of two "master spies" who have gotten closer to Volkoff Industries than any other spy and have been evading them with expert use of public transportation, these two spies happen to be Chuck and Morgan. He shows them photos of the duo taken in various parts of the world; Sarah and Casey quickly deny any knowledge.

At the same time, Chuck and Morgan race to rescue their partners, only to be cornered by Volkoff's security. They report to Marco, who orders them killed. Gunshots are heard over the radio and Sarah fears the worst; Casey threatens to tear him "limb from limb from limb." Before Marco could shoot him, Chuck's voice comes over the radio, having survived due to flashing, and warns Marco that he'll do to him what he did to his men. Marco and his cohorts then move to face Chuck, only for Chuck to free his partners. He then brings them back to the computer room, where his download on his mother is nearly complete. However, Marco announces over the loudspeakers that they are standing in a Soviet Union facility; the entire building is an automated trap. Chuck realizes the only way to escape is by firing the EMP, thus sacrificing the information on his mother. After escaping with AK-47s and boarding a bus, Chuck and Sarah celebrate their nine-month anniversary. Once they return to Burbank, Casey and Sarah agree to assist Chuck in finding his mother.

Chuck attempts to tell Ellie that he has rejoined the CIA and is searching for their mother, but she interrupts him, under the assumption that he has taken a job at the Buy More. After she confides in him that she is pregnant, he decides to wait to reveal his secrets.

Elsewhere, Marco goes to Chuck's mother Mary, to tell her that her family is looking for her. Spurred on by this information, Mary quickly dispatches Marco and his men. As he is lying on the ground, Marco pleads that he has a family. Mary retorts that she does as well and shoots him.

Trivia Edit

  • When Chuck and Morgan are entering the Volkoff Industries "Headquarters" in Moscow, a statue of a woman with a sword can be briefly glimpsed. This statue exists in real life - it is called "The Motherland Calls" and is actually located on the Mamayev Kurgan, a hill in Volgograd (perhaps better known as Stalingrad) - a city very far from Moscow. The statue is over 270 feet in height and was erected to commemorate the Battle of Stalingrad.
  • Morgan defines "sexting" as a combination "sex writing." Wikipedia, however, defines it as a combination of "sex" and "texting". "Texting", however, is already a portmanteau composed of "text" and "messaging".
  • The characters in the show also refer to the EMP device as an "EMP" which would not be strictly accurate since EMP stands for electromagnetic pulse, meaning that an EMP is technically a burst of energy, not a physical object.
  • When Marco says to Casey "I must break you", and later to the team "If you die, you die", were an homage to the catchphrases of Dolph Lundgren's most famous character, Ivan Drago from Rocky IV.
  • Near the end of the episode, immediately after Chuck activates the Volkoff Industries Handheld EMP Generator™, Casey refers to the rifle in his hands as "the best commy rifle ever invented: Comrade AK-47." However, said rifle is actually a variant of the AK-74, a cheaper, more easily mass-produced rifle than the original AK-47. The exact model appears to be an AK-74u, featuring a shorter barrel, woodless construction, and a hollow stock.
  • Harry Dean Stanton's bit role as a repo man is a reference to his role as Bud in the 1984 film  Repo Man. The film follows the exploits of Otto, a man fallen on hard times that takes a job as a Repo Man at the urging of Bud and later becomes embroiled in a chase for a Chevy Malibu containing the radioactive remains of a pair of deceased extraterrestrials. Needless to say, it failed to make back its $160,000 budget (but is a cult classic).
  • Casey calls Alexei Volkoff the "russian Howard Hughes". Howard Hughes was an american businessman, aviator and film producer known for his eccentric and paranoid behaviour.
  • Chuck interviews at a company called "Vandalay Industries", a possible reference to George Costanza's alter ego in Seinfeld.

Guest Stars Edit

Deleted scenes Edit

The Season 4 DVD contains the following deleted scenes from this episode:

  • Chuck and Morgan talking on a bus after having their car repossessed.
  • Chuck and Morgan discussing their unemployment during breakfast, followed by Chuck asking Ellie for help getting a new job.


Sarah: Well, he made a promise to his sister. Chuck doesn't want to be a spy and lie about it too.

Casey: Your boyfriend needs some big boy pants. He's a spy. He's good at it.

Sarah: I know, Casey. You miss him too.

Casey: WHAT? I don't miss him.

Music Edit

  • “Howlin’ for You” by The Black Keys
  • “We’re Here To Save The Day” by The Constellations ft Asher Roth
  • “In Response” by Peter Wolf Crier
  • “Generator (First Floor)” by Freelance Whales

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