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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
"Look, you clearly have no idea who I am since you only sent ten of your men to take care of me, so let me break it down for you...."

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


Chuck begins the search 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.

Full Story[]


Weapons menu

In a flashback to the Bartowski home at Encino, CA 1994, Mary Bartowski (Linda Hamilton) reads her son, Chuck, a bedtime story about the Frost Queen. She finishes the story and says goodnight. Chuck asks if she's going away, and she replies it will only be for a couple of days.

The scene changes to 2010, in the basement of that house, where Chuck is reading his father's research on mother, where it is confirmed that she was a spy. Wanting to know the truth about 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.

In Echo Park, Sarah is arming up for a mission without Chuck, who has quit the CIA. Once Sarah and Casey leave, Chuck and Morgan embark on a trail of clues that takes them around the world in search of Mary Bartowski. Finally, they return to Los Angeles and an old safe house where Mary supposedly was contacted for 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 restaurant called Imperial Dragons, with a stylized Dragon logo on the cover. Morgan suggests starting the search for Mary from scratch, but Chuck is too down to want to. The two are unaware they are being seen by a hidden security camera. Mary is watching, her sympathy for her son clear.

Morgan and Chuck return to the 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 failed to make a payment on a $900 loan, Morgan confides in him that their journey has left them $43,000 in debt, leaving Chuck stunned.

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

Back in Burbank, Chuck wakes to Morgan taking a snapshot of him shirtless, claiming that this will help his relationship with Sarah; sexting, he calls it. Chuck rejects the idea and then goes through a series of strange job interviews, in which the interviewers fall asleep, get sick, have convulsions, disappear, or have Chuck escorted from the building. Chuck and Morgan return in desperation to the Buy More.


Meeting a Greta

A senior Nerd Herd employee who introduces herself as Greta" (Olivia Munn) informs Chuck and Morgan that, although the store is not yet open for business, they are accepting applications. When Chuck reluctantly goes to the manager's office in search of a Nerd Herd position, he finds General Beckman, who is posing as the new manager, she explains that the Buy More has been rebuilt by the CIA and NSA, and is staffed by government operatives and analysts and functions as a fully operational sub-station.

Greta gives Morgan a tour of the base and acknowledges her awareness of his and Chuck's credits as operatives. Beckman forcibly reinstates Chuck, stating the President made Chuck a priority, thus she reneged on her promise to let him resign from the spy world. She also indicates that she sabotaged his other job interviews, and there would be no other jobs any time soon. Chuck then gets a call from Sarah, who is in Castle, she 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 Chuck that an arms dealer Alexei Volkoff is their next target.

Sarah confronts Chuck with the shirtless photo of him, which he assures her was Morgan's idea. As Sarah closes the case for the EMP device, Chuck notices that the logo on the case is the same one that was on the Imperial Dragons menu. Chuck and Morgan go to the repo holding lot to get the menu out of Morgan's car, nearly losing the menu when the repo man expresses a liking for good Chinese food. Back in Orion's base, 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, Sarah privately takes sexy photos of herself with her cell phone while Casey is away from his seat. Unfortunately, Marco is on board, gasses them, and has the plane diverted to Moscow. Chuck and Morgan arrive at Volkoff Industries, and 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 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 assumes Sarah was sexting before he finally catches on and tells Chuck.

Meanwhile, Marco discovers Sarah texting and mocks the idea 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 prove 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.


Gun battle SOP for Chuck and Morgan

Meanwhile, Chuck and Morgan race to the rescue, only to be cornered by Volkoff's security. They report to Marco, who orders them killed. Gunshots are heard over the radio and Sarah and Casey are jolted by the thought Chuck might be dead, and Casey threatens to tear Marco "limb from limb from limb." Before Marco could shoot him, Chuck's voice comes over the radio, and warns Marco that he'll do to him what he did to his men. Marco and his cohort then move to await Chuck, only for Chuck to sneak in and free his partners. He then returns to the computer room, where his download on his mother is nearly complete. However, Marco announces over the PA system that they are standing in a Soviet 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 on 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, and she assures him any job is a good job. After she confides in him that she is pregnant, he decides to wait to reveal his secret.

Elsewhere, Marco goes to Chuck's mother Mary, to tell her that her family is looking for her, but he had not told Volkoff so. 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, too, and shoots him.


  • When Chuck and Morgan are entering the Volkoff Industries Headquarters in Moscow, a scale model of a statue of a woman with a sword can be briefly glimpsed. This full-sized statue exists in real life - it is called "The Motherland Calls" and is located on the Mamayev Kurgan, a hill in Volgograd (perhaps better known as Stalingrad). The statue is over 270 feet in height and was erected to commemorate the Battle of Stalingrad.
  • 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 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 commie 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 behavior.
  • Chuck's final interview in a day of weird interviews is at a company called "Vandalay Industries", a reference to the sitcom, Seinfeld.
  • The map of Chuck's quest to find his mother indicates stops at London, Bonn, Cartegena, Madrid, Albania, Tangiers, Belize, France Greenland, Portugal, South Africa, India, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, and a dozen other points including several American states, ending in California.
  • Code names Chuck discovers for Volkoff operatives include Bloodhound, Meerkat, Bronze, Rose, Zinc, Copper, and Frost.

Guest Stars[]

Deleted scenes[]

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

  • Chuck and Morgan talking on a bus after having Morgan's 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.


Chuck: I couldn't tell her, not now. She doesn't want me to be a spy, but our dad gave me this mission to find our mom, to know the truth. I can't not do this! I have to do this!
Sarah: That's not being a spy, that's being a brother.


Casey: Good to have you back.
Chuck: Oh, I'm not staying.
Sarah: I think he misses you.
Chuck: Oh, I know he does.


  • “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