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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
"One of them looks like a spy, and the other one Chuck. "

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


Captain Awesome is kidnapped by Ring operative, Sydney Prince (Angie Harmon), who has been keeping tabs on him, since his involvement with the Costa Gravas affair, she understandably mistakes him for the spy in the family. In order to protect him, Devon is then used by Team Bartowski to get to the Ring cell that was trying to turn him. Chuck coaches Devon in this situation, becoming his handler in order to save him from the Ring.

Meanwhile, Big Mike promotes Morgan to Assistant Manager.

Full Story[]

Continuing from the previous episode, the opening scene sees Devon being held atop a skyscraper in Los Angeles at night, by a Ring agent. 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 doesn't believe him, and coerces him to work for her by threatening him with an immediate and messy death.

At Castle, 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. Due to his agitated state, Chuck cannot control the Intersect, and yells a customer in her native language, before kicking an annoying Lester in the face. 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, in the background, Lester punches Jeff. Chuck panics when he learns that they haven't yet located Devon, but at that moment Devon enters the store alone and unharmed though freaked out. He's shocked as he tells them that The Ring thinks he's a spy. "They think I'm you Chuck!"

In Castle, Devon is debriefed by Beckman and the others, identifying Sydney Prince, the head of a Ring cell in Los Angeles, who has tried to recruit several government agents. Devon had been given a Ring Communicator, 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." Beckman says that he can't do that yet, and Chuck objects to exploiting his family, but Beckman overrules him, citing it as the only way to get access and protect him in future. Sydney won't go to her superiors with Devon's identity unless she definitively knows she has turned or burned him, therefore, they need to capture or kill her.

When they returned home, Devon is concerned over what to tell Ellie, since he is a very bad liar. Ellie, having hearing his voice, comes out and asks where he'd been. Devon weakly tries coming up with a story about tangling with a bear in the park, before Chuck covers that with a lie about helping Casey after a drunken binge.

Later that night, at Casey's apartment, Chuck is told to serve as Devon's handler. Devon then comes knocking on the door, having received a package. Once they're inside, he contacts Sydney using the communicator. Sydney instructs him to put on the earpiece which she then tells him is a bomb she will detonate if he deviates from instructions or tries to remove. She tells him to enter a specific downtown office building, the Crystal Towers, claiming the guards will be easy for him to take care of. He should then wait for further instruction. Devon is completely freaked out.


Getting out of the line of fire

The team arrive at the office building, Chuck provides Devon with another communication set up labeled 'good guys' and sends him inside while Chuck, Sarah, and Casey wait in the van. After Sydney tells him to go to the 12th floor, Chuck tells him to just wait for him. Devon walks into the building he is stopped by security. Characteristically, Devon is a bad liar, and the guard completely misinterprets what he is saying. Just as he tries to clear up the guard's misconception, Chuck shoots the guard from behind. Devon freaks out for a few seconds, thinking Chuck killed the security guard, but Chuck shows him it's a Tranq Gun saying he doesn't kill people.

After grabbing the guard's badge, they continue up to the 12th floor. Suddenly at the end of the corridor aa group of security men appear. Chuck flashes and is able to take them out with his tranq, as well as another security team that shows up at the other end of the hallway. Devon is impressed and tells Chuck he's incredible. Sydney contacts him again and tells Devon to cut out one of the guard's eyes for the retinal scanner and to kill the man in the room ahead. Devon is shocked, but Chuck tells him he has a better idea. Instead, they use one of the guard's unconscious bodies and pull up his eyelid for the retinal scan. The pair enter a room, which Chuck realizes is a CIA installation, he warns Sarah and Casey, who have spotted Sydney headed to the building. When Sarah and Casey attempt to leave the van, 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 to the man why they are there, but the man interrupts them, instructing Chuck to do as Sydney says and kill him, and then gives him a note to read once Sydney is gone. Chuck, shocked, hesitates, so the man takes a pill, points the gun at himself and fires. Devon, who is behind cover, gets up just in time to see the man fall to the ground. He grabs the gun, thinking Chuck killed him. Before Chuck can explain, they hear footsteps coming down the hall. Chuck tells Devon to remember he killed the man, just before he hides.

Sydney comes in and checks the body for a pulse. Satisfied that Devon killed the man, she disables and removes the explosive earpiece then hands him a Ring Communicator, welcoming him to the Ring before leaving. Chuck comes out of hiding then opens up the note given to him by the man, which reads "MED KIT IN DESK. THE DRUG IS AMIODARONE. SAVE ME." Devon realizes that amiodarone stops a man's heartbeat for a few minutes, and states that he can save him. Chuck tosses him the med kit and Devon quickly gives him a shot in the heart. The man is revived, introducing himself to be Daniel Shaw.

Later, at Castle, Beckman introduces Shaw, a CIA special agent who has been working on bringing down the Ring for five years and will be in charge of any mission that has to do with the Ring. 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. As long as they catch Sydney, then they can contain Devon's identity. Though Shaw, and General Beckman, states that Devon needs to maintain his cover and continue to work with the CIA, they'll be able to maintain the situation. Chuck adamantly objects to Devon's continued involvement in the operation in an attempt to protect his family. Shaw overrules him and says that they will keep using Devon because it's the only way to save him. Chuck pleads with Sarah and Casey expecting them to take his side, but they agree with Shaw about making sure Devon is safe by his continued participation.

Chuck goes to Devon and tells him that he doesn't have to worry about anything anymore because he's going to make certain that Devon is out of the spy game. He tells Devon to give him the Ring communicator.

Chuck brings the device back to the Buy More and hacks into it. After a quick conversation with Morgan, who has come looking for advice, he calls Sydney, revealing himself to be the real spy, not Devon. Assuming his ability to hack into the Ring Communicator meant he might be telling the truth, Sydney agrees to meet at the Buy More, where Chuck attempts to lay a trap. Though he manages to call Sarah and asks her and Casey to come to help him, Shaw grabs the phone and tells him he hates when people act on their own. Since Chuck created the mess, he can find his own way out. He then hangs up on Chuck, who is shocked at the action. When Casey and Sarah object and say they're going anyway, Shaw pulls guns on them. 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.

Under high stress he cannot flash when he confronts the agents, and instead runs into the storage area at the back of the store, hiding underneath a desk just as two agents are sent to investigate. Sarah and Casey manage to escape Castle by calling Shaw's bluff, and rush to the Buy More to help Chuck. While Casey engages the guys in front, Chuck uses a car battery that Lester and Jeff hooked up to the storage cage fence, which electrocutes and incapacitates one of the agents when he touches the handle, and he fires his gun as he is shocked, killing the other agent. Sarah engages in hand-to-hand combat with Sydney, who defeats Sarah. Chuck takes one of the downed agent's guns and turns it on Sydney, who escapes out the back, when he won't fire.

Sydney runs out on to the loading dock, where Chuck holds her at gunpoint. Sydney doesn't believe Chuck can take the shot, and so she threatens to call her superiors. Slowly, she begins taking out a hidden knife, just as Sarah arrives behind Chuck with a gun pointed at Sydney. A shot rings out, and Shaw appears from behind Sydney, revealing himself as the shooter. During the debrief in Castle, Casey and Chuck tell off Shaw for nearly ruining the setup and risking Chuck's family in the process. Shaw, in turn, admonishes Chuck for not taking the shot, but when he turns to Sarah for support, she stays loyal to Chuck, defending him.

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 before joining them. Shaw watches CCTV footage of them all from Castle, before eyeing a wedding ring in his possession, and slipping it onto his finger.

Buy More[]

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, even those who don't want to be but are forced by Lester, so Morgan takes it upon himself as Assistant Manager to sort the mess out. As he enters, a scared employee 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 the abbreviation for Assistant Manager). After Morgan is continually teased and insulted by his co-workers, he approaches Chuck who tells him to attack the problem head on. When the employees start harassing him further, Big Mike sees it and calls him over for advice. Big Mike tells him to get his house in order and that, as a manager, he can't be afraid to "pull the trigger." Morgan goes over and tells the employees there are three rules to their jobs; do what they're told, do it with respect, or they'll be fired. He then makes an example of Lester and fires him in front of everyone. Immediately, Lester begins to beg for his job back, which makes the employees behind nervous. After Lester begs several times, loudly in front of the misbehaving employees, Morgan feels his point has been made and, in a moment of mercy, Morgan agrees, but places him under "double secret probation".

Guest Stars[]


  • 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 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's "Hi-dilly-ho, neighbors!" to Ellie and Devon is a reference to either Ned Flanders in The Simpsons or Wilson on Home Improvement.


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.


Lester: Just in time, need that big brain of yours, Charles. Jeff is dead wrong about something.
Chuck: Well, that's kind of his default setting, is it not?


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