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Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger
Season 4, Episode 24
Air Date May 16, 2011
Writer Chris Fedak and Nicholas Wootton
Director Robert Duncan McNeill
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"You're Chuck Bartowski, the second best spy I've ever worked with! Now you're gonna go save the best one."
― Casey

Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger is the fourth season finale of Chuck, which aired on May 16, 2011. It was slated to be the series finale before the network picked up their option for a fifth season.


Before he can make it to his own wedding, Chuck must enlist help to take down Vivian Volkoff and stop her from destroying everything he holds dear. Chuck turns to Alexei Volkoff for aid, and a new enemy from an unexpected quarter, Clyde Decker, fires him, Sarah, Morgan, and Casey. Nothing, however, will stop Chuck from rescuing Sarah.

Full Story[]

Sarah is rushed into the ER at Westside Medical, having been targeted by the Norseman weapon. Ellie estimates that she has no more than twelve hours to live. Chuck, desperate to save her, decides to go to the man who created the Norseman: Alexei Volkoff. Because of the fact that they don't have the necessary security clearance, he and Casey break into the maximum security prison where Volkoff is being held but find that he's gone. Agent Clyde Decker then reveals himself as the one who shipped Volkoff out, calling himself the "cleaner" who's going to wipe away any evidence and witnesses regarding Agent X; and he doesn't care that Sarah is dying. To prevent Chuck from pursuing his rescue mission, he revokes all his CIA assets. Chuck responds by smashing the monitor that Decker is broadcasting to.


Sarah Poisoned

Meeting with General Beckman; Chuck, Casey, and Mary learn where Decker is transporting Volkoff to. Chuck then asks Beckman for access to Castle. Despite a warning that if he goes up against Decker, he's going up against the CIA, Beckman helps Chuck gain access to the Nighthawk prototype, a specially equipped and weaponized motorcycle, to chase down the transport. Decker has, however, used an Intersect suppressor and deprogrammed Volkoff, reverting him to his original personality, Hartley Winterbottom, the scientist who worked with Stephen Bartowski to create the Intersect.

The breakout, successful, at Casey's apartment, Hartley is informed of his alter ego, which was only supposed to last a few months. He is easily convinced to help create an antidote for the Norseman poison, but it is ineffective, and only slows Sarah's deterioration, but doesn't stop it. Mary then remembers that Volkoff had created something called 'Lead Apron' which they surmise is an advanced antidote, but it's locked up in Volkoff Industries in Moscow.

As they exit the hospital, making plans, they are captured by Decker, who brings them to Castle and has the Intersect removed from Chuck. Decker then tries convincing Casey to tell both Chuck and Mary that it's over. But Casey understands the ploy and knows Decker would kill them all. Decker admits that he's not afraid to be the bad guy, but before he could shoot Casey, Casey breaks free and helps spring Chuck, Mary, and Hartley. He also calls Morgan at the hospital to take out the CIA agent standing guard over Sarah. Casey and Mary then opt to stay behind and distract Decker while Chuck and Hartley go to Moscow. Casey gives Chuck clean, untraceable false IDs to help him, and Sarah disappear.

At the hospital, Morgan and Devon try the "Magnet" move. Devon would distract the agent while Morgan knocks him out. But as Morgan is moving in, Devon acts preemptively and knocks out the agent.

Chuck and Hartley arrive at Volkoff Industries, and Hartley says he is afraid to talk to the daughter he doesn't know, and terrified of impersonating his former persona and runs off. With no other choice, Chuck surrenders and begs Vivian for the antidote. Before Vivian can act against Chuck, her father returns, having easily gained entry due to all of his staff being afraid of him, and reveals the truth, that he went undercover voluntarily and convinced Stephen to use his Intersect program on him. Vivian, tearing off her necklace and throwing it to the ground, accuses her father of molding her into his succession plan. Picking up the necklace, Hartley explains that it belonged to his grandmother, Vivian, her namesake who loved to ride horses. Chuck tries to remind Vivian that this isn't the life she should live. Vivian, however, believes that there's no going back for her. In a desperate move, Chuck gives up the clean IDs so that Vivian and her father can start a new life and leave the Volkoffs behind. Hartley is stunned and asks what Chuck will use if he gives them away, he replies nothing matters more than saving Sarah's life.

Chuck rushes back to Sarah with the antidote. With the help of a unit of Russian special forces, courtesy of Volkoff Industries, and the CAT Squad, Chuck and his allies successfully force Decker's Team, who are guarding the hospital against him, to capitulate. Chuck promises to leak everything about Agent X, including Decker's involvement, to the public if he ever threatens his friends and family. He then rushes the antidote to Sarah, praying all the way that he is on time.


Chuck - Chuck and Sarah Wedding (HD)

The wedding

Finally, with Sarah recovered, the long awaited wedding ceremony goes on. Morgan is ministering the event and marries them with the authority of the Intergalactic Federation of Planets. In the limo after the ceremony, Hartley calls and tells them he sent a wedding gift; 877 million dollars, the bulk of the assets of the former Volkoff Industries.

Two weeks later, Chuck and Sarah return from their honeymoon. Chuck and Sarah reveal to Casey and Morgan that Hartley has turned the assets of Volkoff Industries over to them and its resources are now at their disposal. They have used some of fortune to purchase the Buy More and everything below it, including Castle. Chuck, Sarah, Casey, and Morgan then agree to form a freelance spy agency and use the Buy More as their base of operations. Decker shows up on a screen at Castle and tells Chuck that everything that has happened to him is part of a grand plan, and that he is merely a pawn. Casey figures that there is some conspiracy going on, but he sees no reason to get involved as they are no longer affiliated with the CIA.

In the last scene, Morgan becomes the new Human Intersect after trying on a pair of sunglasses that someone had left behind for Chuck.


Guest Stars[]


  • Bolonia Grimes did not appear in the episode, she was nowhere near Big Mike during the wedding ceremony. Big Mike, however, is said to have married Bolonia sometime after the season finale and before the fifth season.
  • As he's closing up the partition in the limo of the newly-weds, Morgan again taps into the shared nerdiness with Chuck, quoting Westley's line from "The Princess Bride", 'As you wish,' a phrase used by the young hero to mean 'I love you.'
  • Decker taunts Chuck one final time on the video screen, saying "Guess it's the dawn of a new chapter, eh, boy?" Chuck replies, "I'd watch that 'Boy' talk, redneck." This is a more polite paraphrase of a line from the Mel Brooks movie "Blazing Saddles".
  • In lieu of rings, Sarah and Chuck utilized the twist ties from their 'dry run' wedding practice during the actual ceremony.
  • In the limousine, Chuck says "Oh, boy" in reference to Scott Bakula's Sam Beckett character in Quantum Leap.

Deleted scenes[]

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

  • Decker, after having captured Frost and Casey, brings them to Castle and threatens to kill them. Morgan invades the base through the air ducts, drops in behind Decker and knocks him out.
  • After convincing Vivian to give him the Iridium 6, Chuck calls Devon who reveals that the hospital is surrounded by Decker's men. Chuck loses hope, but Vivian calls in a favor from the Russian President.


Chuck: Are we freaking out? We're freaking out. That's normal, though, it's normal to freak out a little a week before a wedding.
Sarah: Unless...
Chuck: It's cold feet? No. No! Because I want to marry you!
Sarah: I really want to marry you, too.


Mary: Charles, I know time is of the essence, but you are driving awfully fast.
Chuck: Sorry, mom...


Chuck: Casey, you're going pale. I go pale, you don't go pale.

Casey: Remember I told you that opening the Agent X files would draw out a remorseless son of a bitch that would destroy our whole team without breaking a sweat? This is the guy they hire to kill that guy.


  • "Here With Me" by Battleme (Chuck and Sarah get freaked out)
  • "Conscience Killer" by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (Chuck riding the motorcycle)
  • "Firewood" by Typhoon (Chuck and Sarah do a practice wedding)
  • "I'm A Pilot" by Fanfarlo (Chuck runs in with the antidote)
  • "Sinking Friendships" by Jónsi (Chuck and Sarah's wedding)

External Links[]

See Also[]