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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 says, "They think I'm a spy!"

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 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." 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 "nothing you can't handle." 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. He is stopped by security, characteristically, Devon is a bad liar, and the guard completely misinterprets what he is saying. Realizing Devon needs his help, Chuck leaves the van and enters the building, tranquilizing the security guard and leading Devon up to their destination. Chuck and Devon are confronted by several guards in a corridor, but Chuck uses his Tranq Gun efficiently, easily dispatching the guards, impressing Devon who then 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, but 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, 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 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 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, 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 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 kit, and 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 Operation Bartowski. 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, but once again, Chuck objects to his involvement in an attempt to protect his family. Shaw simply overrules him.

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 attempts to lay a trap. Though he manages to alert Casey and Sarah and tell them to meet him at the Buy More, Shaw refuses to let them, saying that Chuck got himself into this, so he should get himself out for it. He also seems intrigued to discover what Chuck's 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.

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. Then, 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 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 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 cover, 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, 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 the abbreviation for 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[]


  • 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 "Hidely-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”