Daniel Shaw was a dedicated and decorated CIA Special Agent who was hunting down the Ring, believing that they killed his wife, Evelyn. After learning that Sarah Walker's first kill (Red Test) was his wife, Shaw turned rogue, becoming a Ring Agent and ultimately the nemesis of Chuck. He served as the primary antagonist of Season 3, and the secondary antagonist of Season 5.
He is portrayed by Brandon Routh.
Daniel Shaw and his wife, Evelyn Shaw, were assigned to gather intelligence on the Ring roughly five years prior to "Chuck Versus Operation Awesome". Shaw admitted he always tried to protect her, and he currently believes this is what led to her being killed in the line of duty. Sometime during his field work against the Ring, Shaw had burnt Ring operative Nicos Vassilis, leaving a scar on his face. It is mentioned in "Chuck Versus the Other Guy" that Shaw previously taught at United States Military Academy at West Point.
Shaw first appears at the end of "Chuck Versus the Three Words", after Team Bartowski recovers an unidentified gold case from an arms dealer with the help of DEA agent Carina Miller. Though General Beckman turns down any questions from the team regarding its contents, she does want to tell them on the grounds that they need to be "prepared". However, Shaw asks her to wait. His face is not seen, only that he is sitting on Beckman's desk with his lighter.
In the episode "Chuck Versus Operation Awesome", Ring Operative Sydney Prince, believing Devon Woodcomb was a CIA operative after Jack Artman kidnapped him in the end of the previous episode on the same misconception, ordered him to execute Shaw. Devon, with Chuck handling him, found Shaw in the corner office of the 12th floor of an unidentified building. But Shaw and the CIA knew the Ring was targeting him, and so they set the entire confrontation up.
When Chuck secretly showed up in Devon's place, Shaw insisted he shoot him. After Chuck's refusal, he took a pill, gave Chuck an envelope to only open after the Ring agent leaves, and shot himself in the shoulder. It turns out the pill he took stopped his heart temporarily. The letter explained all this and said, "Save me". Devon, being a doctor, was able to save him. Even though secretly still alive, the Ring now considers Shaw dead.
After returning to Castle, he is revealed to be an expert on the Ring and briefed on Chuck's status as the Intersect before being put in charge of Team Bartowski. He clashes personalities with Colonel Casey and Agent Walker but gets along with Chuck better instead as he shows faith in his potential on becoming a spy.
Chuck's Training Edit
In "Chuck Versus First Class", he sends Chuck on his first solo mission, placing him on a first-class flight to Paris. He is confident in Chuck and convinced, despite the protests of Walker and Casey, that Chuck will succeed. Shaw doesn't tell Chuck, however, that his mission is on the plane until he flashes on Ring Operative Hugo Panzer. After Chuck manages to complete his mission - detain Panzer and acquire the digital key he'd been transporting from the cargo bay - he discovers that one of the flight attendants - another Ring Operative, had poisoned him. While Chuck manages to get the antidote from Serena, Shaw hijacks the plane via satellite controls from Castle and gives the controls to Sarah. Her unstable flying not only buys Chuck time to get the antidote but also knocks Panzer and Serena unconscious. Shaw is shown to have known and studied many Ring operatives beforehand as he can identify Serena just by her voice and knew her poison of choice.
At the end of the episode, Shaw uses the digital key Chuck acquired to finally open the mysterious gold case, and its contents were revealed to be discs containing the intel he and Evelyn Shaw had gathered on the Ring. The case also contained Eve's wedding ring, which Shaw had shown to Sarah as he told her of how he lost his wife. He also took this moment to express his concerns that her protective nature towards Chuck could cause her to lose him in the same way.
At the beginning of "Chuck Versus the Mask", Shaw attempts to steal The Mask of Alexander from a museum until the security kicks in and seals him in an airtight room. The curator, unaware that the display room is sealing up because of the alarm being triggered (thanks to Casey), calls the Nerd Herd for help. Chuck, along with Hannah who had followed him, managed to reboot the system, thus secretly saving Shaw from suffocating. After the team returns to base, Shaw explains to Chuck that the Ring are smuggling an unknown weapon by means of the mask, and that their mission is to steal it before their operatives do.
Shaw and Sarah infiltrate the opening ceremony of the mask's display while Chuck monitors from the security room while keeping Hannah in the dark about the mission. Unfortunately, when Chuck identifies one of the Ring Operatives present as Nicos Vassilis, an agent who would surely recognize Shaw, he realizes his presence would jeopardize the mission, and Chuck fills his role. In the end, despite some bumps along the way, Chuck is able to swap the mask with a fake. Team Bartowski then takes the mask back to Castle where Shaw begins tampering with it to find the weapon. But when the weapon turns out to be a nerve gas called cyclosarin, he and Sarah are contaminated by the gas and quarantined inside the main room of Castle.
In order to get the counter agent from Vassilis, Chuck takes another fake mask to the museum in exchange for Hannah's release after the Ring agent held her for ransom and Chuck threatens to release the gas (actually a smoke grenade courtesy of Casey) should he not cooperate. Chuck managed to fool Vassilis by breaking the mask and the smoke grenade inside, and found the counter agent in one of the vases thanks to his instructions. Shaw, meanwhile, had mustered enough strength to carry Sarah to the museum just in time for Casey to arrive with the counter agent Chuck got. Unfortunately, Vassilis managed to get a good look at Shaw before escaping and reporting to his superiors that he was alive. After the mission, Shaw explains to Chuck that his performance suggests he should be moving out on his own soon, as the Intersect was originally designed to allow agents to operate autonomously and that he, Sarah, and Casey are merely "training wheels". Shaw begins a relationship with Sarah soon after, but Sarah feels doing so might be dangerous.
In "Chuck Versus the American Hero", as Chuck tries to win Sarah back, Morgan, Casey and Devon help him in his attempts and attempt to distract Shaw while Chuck sits in with Sarah at the restaurant she is at with Shaw. Morgan lures him into leaving the restaurant by posing as a fake rank made up as the "Ring Director", however he uses a tracer and discovers that it was Morgan just as two real Ring operatives who had been tailing him move in. After using Morgan as a human shield to block a taser and defeating two of the Ring agents he runs back to the restaurant to protect Sarah after the leader informs him that the real Ring Director wants to meet with him. However he is tackled by Captain Awesome and knocked through the restaurant's glass window onto the table Chuck and Sarah are sitting at.
Back at the Castle, Shaw devises a plan to arrange a meeting with the Director; he swallows a tracking device so that when he is in the meeting with the Director, General Beckman can call in an air strike to take them all out. Shaw drives to a predetermined meeting spot where the tracking device is forcefully removed from his body before being driven to the Ring's compound. He then has his meeting with the Director, who reveals that Sarah was the one who killed his wife, Evelyn for her Red Test. An infuriated Shaw attempts to attack the Director, who is actually a hologram, before being tasered. He is almost killed during the air strike but is saved by Chuck, who located the site thanks to Jeff and Lester who were stalking him.
In the episode "Chuck Versus the Other Guy", Chuck fears that since Shaw found out that Sarah had killed his wife, Shaw would be seeking revenge. Shaw had at the time taken Sarah to a suspected Ring facility; after Sarah lost visual on him she activated her distress beacon and Chuck organized a massive task force to rescue her. Shaw revealed to her that he knew that she killed Eve for her red test but said she was not at fault; at this moment Chuck and his task force arrive and Chuck orders everyone to stand down. Later at the Castle, Shaw tells General Beckman that Chuck's unauthorized actions were prudent given the circumstances, sparing Chuck from severe repercussions.
Chuck, Shaw and Sarah then went on a mission to a Ring facility where the Director had been pinpointed. After Chuck and Sarah rappelled down the Director's private elevator's shaft, Shaw was attacked by several Ring operatives and managed to defeat them before making his way to the elevator. After Chuck and Sarah had apprehended the Director to which the Director reveals that they have been working on their own Intersect, they force him to call his assistant to bring the Cipher to them in the elevator. Chuck and Sarah were eventually cornered by three Ring operatives and the assistant that entered the elevator from each floor the elevator stopped on. Shaw proceeded to kill the agent, as well as the custodian and the Director's assistant. He then stepped into the elevator and had Chuck and Sarah leave the facility with the Ring's Intersect Cipher as he shoots the Director after the elevator closes.
Back at Castle, General Beckman debriefs the team and reveals that the Ring's Intersect designs had numerous flaws and sent them a report detailing the errors. Shaw notices the parts for the Cipher were manufactured in France and Beckman orders Shaw and Sarah to Paris to investigate. It is later discovered by Chuck with Morgan's help that Shaw has turned to the Ring after Morgan watches the surveillance footage from the Ring facility that Shaw's fight with the Ring operatives in the elevator control room was staged and Chuck reveals to Morgan that he and Sarah did not confirm any of the kills on the Ring operatives in the elevator.
Shaw is then shown with Sarah in Paris, leading her around the place where Sarah had killed Eve before he had her drugged and taken to a cafe where he meets with the Director and other Ring operatives. He tells Sarah that he has to kill her to send a message to the CIA. He gives the Director the NSA's report detailing the flaws in the Ring's Intersect. Chuck tries to stop him as he tries to rescue Sarah, but despite the Intersect's combat skills, Shaw is able to overpower him. He then tells Chuck that he has not identified Chuck as the Intersect to the Ring and will not hurt him provided he does not interfere with his plan. As he is about to throw Sarah into the Seine, Chuck arrives with a gun. There is a brief standoff and Chuck tries to convince Shaw that what he is doing is not really him. As Shaw is about to shoot him, doubting that Chuck would be unable to do so with his fear of killing, Chuck shoots him three times into the chest before Shaw managed to fire. He falls over the bridge he attempts to pull Sarah into the Seine with him, but she is saved by Chuck while Shaw falls into the Seine.
Resurrection and Revenge Edit
Daniel Shaw is later confirmed to be alive at the end of the episode "Chuck Versus the Living Dead", where he is seen downloading the Ring's Intersect into himself ,making himself into a Human Intersect. In "Chuck Versus the Subway", Shaw returns to the CIA, in the middle of a hearing with General Beckman regarding whether to continue or cease Operation Bartowski. He claims that he was a double agent inside the Ring. He presented Dr. Leo Dreyfus' diagnosis about the Intersect overwhelming as a way to publicly discredit Chuck and his claims that Shaw has been turned to the Ring. Beckman tried to counter Shaw's statements by presenting evidence of the various successes the operation has achieved by showing several reports of the many operatives of hostile organizations they had captured starting with the report of Fulcrum agent Alexis White.
Shaw flashed on the name of 'Alexis White', which Chuck noticed. He tried to prove to the hearing that Shaw is a human Intersect by throwing a knife at him, the same way his father did to him an episode earlier knowing Chuck would catch the knife with his hands instead, but hoping that Shaw would flash to catch it. Instead, Shaw allowed the knife to hit, causing Chuck to be thrown in jail with the rest of his team along with Beckman. However, Stephen was able to free his son and urged him to run. Shaw, hoping to use Sarah and Casey as baits to lure Chuck back into the CIA building. Instead, Chuck and Stephen broke into the real Ring base where Shaw had downloaded the Ring Intersect from, discovering that Dr. Martin Kowambe's research in "Chuck Versus the Tooth" was used to revive Shaw. Shaw intercepted the Bartowskis and steals Chuck's Governor. After noting that Chuck would be unable to flash as Chuck was previously intending him to fight only using the Intersect's skills, he kills Stephen in front of him. Shaw intended on executing Team Bartowski after transporting them far away in a prisoner holding truck. However, they escape when Morgan and Devon accidentally fire a missile at the van holding them, therefore freeing them.
Later on in "Chuck Versus the Ring: Part 2", an imprisoned Beckman informs Team Bartowski that Shaw had taken her place at the Joint Security Summit, which is a secret convention of spies, where the Ring intends to take over the CIA and NSA in a coup. Chuck was able to trick Shaw into signalling the his superiors to leave the summit, thus manages to identify them for capture as they attempt to leave, and also tricking him into confessing his allegiance to the Ring in front of the entire convention. Shaw escapes after being compromised but is later seen at the Buy More where he holds Morgan hostage and plants bombs around the store.
He uses Morgan's cell phone to call Sarah, demanding that Chuck face him. Jeff and Lester pull a fire alarm for an unrelated reason. When Shaw is holding Sarah against her will, Chuck shows up without a Governor and fights Shaw using only the Intersect despite he may be dying at the time. Chuck continuously falters due to the malfunctioning Intersect and Shaw is able to overpower him and even knock him unconscious. During this, Chuck revisits a memory from when he was 10 and saw himself downloaded a prototype Intersect, rebooting his brain. Chuck then gets back up and proceeds to beat Shaw before getting him in a strangle hold, but Chuck spares his life. Shaw claims that Chuck's unwillingness to take a life makes him weak, however, he is clubbed in the back of the head by Sarah who tells Chuck it's what makes him great. Sarah then grabs the Governor from him and gives it back to Chuck. Shaw is then presumably taken into CIA custody before Morgan accidentally sets off the explosives Shaw planted in the Buy More.
Shaw returns and takes over Castle in the final season's seventh episode. It is revealed that Shaw was the one behind the master plan to kill Chuck, and had flashed on Decker and knew all his dirty secrets. After some blackmail, Decker and his team began to work for Shaw. When the Omen Virus is released, Shaw breaks out of prison and takes over Castle. It also revealed that the Omen Virus was a key component in Shaw's plan to gather all of the CIA and NSA's intelligence and uploading into his brain, granting him what he called the Intersect 3.0. With this he planned to once again attempt to take over the CIA and NSA.
After receiving the Omen from Chuck and connecting it to a pair of Intersect Glasses he goes to the Buy More, preparing to kill Chuck. When Chuck tells him he has been training, Shaw taunts him by saying that while he himself has been working to update the Intersect, Chuck has been doing some push-ups. He then proceeds to upload the Intersect 3.0 by putting on the glasses. The update only takes a second. Shaw moves on to flash on martial arts skill to attack Chuck. However he was thwarted again by Chuck who reconfigured the Omen Virus to erase Shaw's Ring Intersect upon uploading it into his brain, instead replacing it with images of Santa Claus. Chuck and Shaw the proceed to have a fight consisting of hand to hand combat, neither one aided by the Intersect and shows how Chuck has improved without the help of the Intersect at one point telling Shaw he is a 'bigger nerd' than he would have encountered. As Chuck gains the upper hand many times, Shaw is launched onto the floor and recovers his gun. But before he can take a shot, Ellie knocks him out.
Shaw is then blamed for the release of the Omen virus and is committed to solitary. However, he requests a meeting with Sarah. Against Beckman's advice, she attends. Shaw then reveals to her that he has sent her former handler Kieran Ryker after her adopted sister Molly, who she rescued as an orphaned baby to prevent her fortune from being exploited.
- Daniel Shaw is noted for being the first and only person Chuck has actually attempted to kill on purpose, once after Shaw tried to kill Sarah and after their battle in the Season 3 finale, though Chuck chose not to in the latter.
- Despite their differences, Shaw and Chuck shares many similarities, making him the suitable rival for Chuck:
- Both lost a loved member of their families, Evelyn Shaw and Stephen Bartowski.
- They are both talented at thinking of plans which rarely fail.
- They are both skilled fighters, though Chuck was not as good as Shaw during his first appearance.
- Both dislike using guns, though Shaw is shown to no longer do so after turning rogue.
- Both have been in a relationship with Sarah Walker.
- They were both members of Team Bartowski.
- Both are turned into a human intersect at some point, but lose it later.
- The character is mildly similar to that of Devon Woodcomb's original role, as the latter was meant to be revealed as an enemy spy at the end of Season One, but was kept as a civilian and a main character as the fans loved him. This fate may have been the cause of Shaw turning into a villain, as the fan base had expressed a dislike for him simply for being a blockade to a "Chuck and Sarah" relationship.
- He is the main antagonist of Season 3 and the first-half of Season 5.
- At one point, Chuck refers to Shaw's physique as 'Superman-y'. This is a reference to actor Brandon Routh's role as Superman in the 2006 film Superman Returns.
Anna Wu • Alex McHugh • Alexei Volkoff • Bryce Larkin • Carina Miller • Clara Woodcomb • Clyde Decker • Daniel Shaw • Diane Beckman • Emmett Milbarge • Gertrude Verbanski • Hannah • Harry Tang • Jane Bentley • Jill Roberts • Langston Graham • Mary Bartowski • Nicholas Quinn • Stephen Bartowski • Vivian Volkoff