Bryce Larkin

Bryce Larkin

Seasons:1, 2
Portrayed by:Matthew Bomer
Status: Deceased (1981-2009, classified as 1981-2007 by CIA)
Occupation:CIA Agent
Bank accountant (cover)
Aliases:Mr. Anderson
Bruce (by Sarah in conversation)
Relatives: None known
Relationships: Chuck Bartowski (friend)
Sarah Walker (ex-partner/girlfriend)
Residence:Connecticut (formerly)
Appearances: "Chuck Versus the Intersect"
"Chuck Versus the Alma Mater"
"Chuck Versus the Imported Hard Salami"
"Chuck Versus the Nemesis"
"Chuck Versus the Seduction"
"Chuck Versus the Break-Up"
"Chuck Versus the Ring"
Your dad knew I protected you at Stanford. I was the only spy he would trust.

Bryce Larkin was a recurring character on the spy action-comedy series Chuck, on NBC. He is portrayed by Matthew Bomer.

Bryce is the former college roommate and fraternity brother of Chuck. He was also once partnered and romantically involved with CIA agent Sarah Walker. Bryce was responsible for sending Chuck the Intersect, instigating the events of the series.

Biography Edit

The episode, "Chuck Versus the Intersect" established that Bryce was originally from Connecticut.

Bryce and Chuck at Stanford

He attended Stanford University, where he met Chuck Bartowski in 1999. As shown in "Chuck Versus the Alma Mater" Chuck and Bryce quickly became friends, beginning with their mutual interest in computers and video games. While in Stanford they wrote their own version of the classic computer game Zork in C++. The same episode also established that Bryce was acquainted with Jill Roberts, who would later date Chuck. Bryce and Chuck competed against one another in games of Gotcha! on campus.

Bryce was recruited into the CIA by Professor Fleming in 2002. The following year, Bryce learned that Fleming intended to recruit Chuck, as well, for the Omaha Project. In "Chuck Versus the Alma Mater," Bryce sacrificed his friendship with Chuck to protect him from the government, that a military operation like Omaha would destroy Chuck, who was too good-hearted for the life that represented. He conspired with the professor to frame Chuck for cheating on his exams, and thereby invalidating them for the CIA who would then lose interest in Chuck. When Fleming then called Chuck in, instead of interviewing him as intended, he accused Chuck of cheating, and told him Bryce turned him in. This led to his expulsion from Stanford, and safety in obscurity."Chuck Versus the Ring" would imply that Bryce arranged Chuck's expulsion at the request of Orion, Chuck's father, to keep him out of the hands of the government.

Jill Roberts told Chuck that she was seeing Bryce after their breakup. For five years Chuck believed Bryce had betrayed him twice over. Jill later claimed she was never in a relationship with Bryce, and only said she had on the orders of Fulcrum.

"Chuck Versus the Break-Up" established that Bryce was first partnered with Sarah prior to 2005, an idea confirmed by the pictures on Sarah's phone, marked 'Cabo 2005', and showing apparent private photographs of the couple. At some point, their professional relationship also became an intimate one.

In Chuck Versus the Nemesis, Bryce was contacted by a CIA splinter group called Fulcrum,  and tasked with stealing the Intersect. He decided to destroy it while on an apparent rogue mission, before Fulcrum could gain access to it; he did not entrust Sarah with knowledge of his plan. It is on this mission that Bryce is first introduced in  "Chuck Versus the Intersect"  As Chuck recounts his history to an uninterested girl at his birthday party, Bryce is shown stealing the Intersect and sending it to Chuck using their custom Zork game as a code, before he is shot by Casey. Chuck mentions at the time he thought Bryce had become an accountant. It was revealed in Chuck Versus the Ring that Bryce's mission to destroy the Intersect was assisted by Stephen Bartowski.

Series Edit

For much of the first season Bryce Larkin is believed to be dead, and Chuck attends his funeral in Chuck Versus the Helicopter. Dialog throughout the first half of Season 1 reinforces Bryce's betrayal of Chuck, and that his accusation of Chuck cheating on his exams utterly derailed Chuck's life, sending Chuck on a downward spiral he had not yet recovered from. Chuck is unaware of Bryce's work with the CIA and his apparent death until told about both by Sarah in Chuck Versus the Intersect.

Bryce meets Chuck

Bryce's theft of the Intersect and sending it to Chuck gives him an important place in the series' mythology, as his actions set the overall series arc in motion.

Bryce is next seen in flashbacks in Chuck Versus the Alma Mater, when the team's mission took them to Stanford and forced Chuck to confront his history there. During the course of the episode, the truth of the events surrounding his expulsion are revealed, and Chuck is made to realize that Bryce did what he did to protect him.

It was first revealed that Bryce survived being shot by Casey in Chuck Versus the Imported Hard Salami. And in Chuck Versus the Nemesis, while being held in a government facility, Bryce refuses to speak to anyone but Chuck. Chuck is reluctant, "You want me to go in there and and ask him what exactly? Just so we're on the same page. Hey, Bryce why did you send me the Intersect? Why did you chose my life to ruin? How exactly do I start that conversation?" Chuck was then forced to prove his identity by responding to a question Bryce posed in Klingon. When asked, Bryce was dodgy about why he sent Chuck the Intersect. He asked that his friend lean in closer, then he breaks free and holds Chuck hostage. After escaping, Bryce makes his way to Chuck's apartment, where he tells him and Sarah that he is not rogue. He confirms his story by stating the Fulcrum operation name, "Sandwall," which Chuck flashes on. He explains that Fulcrum agent Tommy, was led to believe that Bryce possesses the Intersect, which was the reason Bryce was revived. Bryce needs to tell the CIA about this conspiracy, but needs to know that he is being handed over to the real CIA, not Fulcrum agents. A handover is arranged for him to take place at the Buy More.

When Chuck doesn't flash on the retrieval agents, Bryce was on his way. Unfortunately, Tommy had deduced that Chuck was the real Intersect, and appeared at the Buy More. Bryce and Sarah escaped an ambush and rushed to save him. After defeating Tommy by shooting Chuck, who confirmed - in Klingon - that he was wearing Kevlar, Bryce was ordered by General Beckman to go into deep cover and pursue Fulcrum. According to Bryce, for all intents and purposes, he was dead and was to remain dead. Not even Chuck, whom he regarded as his only friend, could know where he was going. Fulcrum agents, thereafter, believed that Bryce was the Intersect.

Bryce resurfaces in Chuck Versus the Break-Up to obtain the team's assistance in recovering an update for the Intersect that

Bryce's cover obituary

was stolen by Fulcrum. The operation was nearly blown when Sarah abandoned the pursuit of the intel to protect Chuck, who had been captured. Bryce continued to push Sarah on her feelings, before he was confronted by Devon Woodcomb, who spelled out for Bryce that Sarah was in love with Chuck. Bryce attempts to warn Chuck off, by telling him that Sarah's feelings for him nearly got her killed. Chuck responded that she was doing her job, protecting him.  Bryce said he knew Chuck would do the right thing - he always did. Before disappearing, Bryce left a pair of sunglasses behind for Chuck, when Chuck tried them on, he found they contained the Intersect update. Knocked off his feet by the upload, he muttered, "I hate Bryce Larkin."

In Chuck Versus the Ring, Bryce finally realizes Sarah was truly in love with Chuck. This connection would prevent her from accompanying Bryce on his next assignment,  the pursuit Intersect project. In "Chuck Versus the Ring", Bryce is chosen by the CIA to be the agent to upload the Intersect 2.0 at the Intersect building, but the base was  infiltrated by Ring agents, Bryce complains to the agent that Sarah was “in love with another guy” and comments “it’s a bad day to be me”, to which the response is “you have no idea,” and a gun is pulled on him. Bryce grabs him, shoots the others, and then uses the first man as a shield, but is badly wounded.


Bryce's final death

He then enters the Intersect room and locks the door. Dragging himself inside, he sees Chuck break into the room via the ceiling vents. Bryce asks Chuck to use the Intersect destroyer as the Intersect cannot fall into the Ring's hands:
Chuck: Oh, my God, you've been shot.
Bryce: Yeah. I'm really sorry about this, Chuck.
Chuck: No. No, it's okay... it's okay. You're going to be fine - it's not that bad.
Bryce: Take care of her.
Chuck: Don't...don't say that. You're not dying. She needs you, man, okay? You guys are going to go on missions together and do exciting things and save the world. You'll be a team again - it will be great.
Bryce: She wasn't going to come....
To Chuck's shock and dismay, Bryce then dies, and he is forced to make a decision. He uploads the Intersect 2.0 and then destroys it as Bryce had asked.

In episode  "Chuck Versus First Class", it is revealed that Bryce and Sarah's first mission together was in Lisbon. In that episode it is mentioned that Sarah went off grid there in order to spread his ashes.

Development Edit

Rumors of Bryce Larkin's return began to appear in early October, In 2007, his return was confirmed with Matthew Bomer's cameo at the end of "Chuck Versus the Imported Hard Salami," although many reviewers noted that both the promo for the episode, and Bomer's name in the credits for the episode spoiled the ending. Bryce's return for "Chuck Versus the Nemesis" led to an increase in ratings to well over 8 million viewers for the night. Ratings Update: November 27, 2007: Chuck Climbs Again

Bryce Larkin's return in Season Two was first revealed in June, 2008[1] and later confirmed in an interview with Chris Fedak, Josh Schwartz and Zachary Levi in August.[2] noted that once again, Bomer's return was spoiled by his name appearing in the credits of "Chuck Versus the Seduction."[3]

Personality Edit

Bryce Larkin is presented as confident, athletic, brave under fire, and ruthless. Bryce is a skilled martial artist, and a fight scene in the Buy More in Chuck Versus the Nemesis, proves that he and Sarah's abilities strongly complement each other. Further commendation of Bryce's abilities comes in that same episode when Casey calls him dangerous, and later tells Chuck, "When you have a chance to shoot Bryce Larkin, you shoot to kill." In Chuck Versus the Intersect a party-goer who knew Bryce at Stanford pointed out his many successes, of which Chuck was very familiar. On several occasions Chuck has commented how short he feels he falls in comparison to Bryce.

In Chuck Versus the Intersect Bryce is already acquainted with Casey, and their dialog together throughout Chuck Versus the Nemesis suggests that the two have an antagonistic past. Bryce apparently still wants Sarah and has continued to attempt to pursue their relationship. He was noticeably hurt in Chuck Versus the Break-Up when he realized that Sarah had moved on and had feelings for Chuck. His warning to Chuck that Sarah's feelings put her in danger led Chuck to putting distance between them. Bryce, however, highly values his friendship with Chuck, calling Chuck his only friend. He also highly regards Chuck's innocence, honesty, loyalty, and integrity, and he was willing to destroy their relationship to keep him from losing those traits, as seen in Chuck Versus the Alma Mater.

"I got one friend in this world"

In Chuck Versus the Nemesis he tells Chuck he is the only friend he really has, which takes steps towards repairing their shattered friendship. The two share many of the same interests, including computers, programming, and video games. Both speak Klingon, which they successfully used as a code during a mission.[4]

The series has not revealed how much of a relationship Bryce had with Chuck's family or other friends. Devon spoke with him face to face in Chuck Versus the Break-Up and he didn't recognize Bryce. Morgan nearly did in Chuck Versus the Nemesis, but passed it off as him just being a look-alike. Morgan was the first one to make it clear (inadvertently) to Bryce how badly his actions derailed Chuck's life after he was expelled. It seems apparent that they had never before met him face to face, perhaps only seeing photographs of him previously.

It is implied in the Season 2 finale that Bryce had the ability to absorb vast amounts of visual information in a similar manner to Chuck and his father.

References Edit

  1. Development Update: June 5, 2008: Episode 2.03
  2. Development Update: August 9, 2008: Schwartz, Fedak & Zac Spills (some) Beans on Season 2
  3. Review: October 7, 2008: Review
  4. "Chuck Versus the Nemesis"

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.