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Chuck vs. the Dream Job
Season 02, Episode 19
Air Date April 6, 2009
Writer Phil Klemmer & Corey Nickerson
Director Robert Duncan McNeill
Previous Chuck Versus the Broken Heart
Next Chuck Versus the First Kill
"Are you saying you're going to overwrite my brain?"

Chuck Versus the Dream Job originally aired on April 6, 2009. It is the nineteenth episode of the second season, and the thirty-second overall.


Chuck, with Sarah's help, locates his father, Stephen Bartowski, and brings him home. Chuck then has an interview at Roark Instruments arranged by the CIA, to investigate a possible new devastating virus.

Full Story[]

The episode opens with Chuck and Sarah finding Chuck's father. Stephen catches up on his and Ellie's life, and Chuck asks him about coming to Ellie's wedding. Stephen is reluctant, but finally agrees to return home. Chuck brings him back to the apartment, but the reunion with Ellie doesn't go as planned. She retreats to her room after being overwhelmed by seeing their father again, but Chuck convinces her to give him a chance, saying he was mad too, but they can either hate him for the rest of their lives or try to forgive him. The reunion becomes more awkward when Stephen rambles about many things he claims to have invented that were stolen by Ted Roark. Among his father's possessions is an advertisement for a major tech show where Roark's latest computer operating system is to be released. Chuck flashes on it.

At Castle, Beckman briefs the team. Chatter has led them to believe a virus is being released in the operating system, and she orders them to investigate. A job interview is arranged for Chuck, under his own name, which Sarah encourages him he's more than qualified on his own for, even though it's a cover. The next morning Chuck arrives at Roark Industries and performs well. He is immediately hired on and introduced to Roark, whom Chuck had dreamed of working for since Stanford. As he's leaving, he's spotted by Jeff and Lester, who were in line to attend the launch. They tell Morgan they just saw him leaving Roark's headquarters as a new employee. That night at dinner, Morgan lets slip about Chuck's new "job," which upsets Stephen as he believes Roark destroyed his life.

At the launch the next day, Casey and Sarah attempt to break in to stop it but are unable to bypass security. The situation becomes more serious when Chuck flashes on a Fulcrum agent on stage with Roark. With no other options, Chuck runs on stage in an effort to warn Roark that his operating system is believed to contain a virus, but he tells Chuck to go away. Chuck grabs the controls that will initiate the launch and attempts to escape but fails. Stephen and Ellie were watching the conference on television when Chuck attempts to disrupt the launch, and Ellie is angered because she believes Chuck threw his dream job away for their father, even though Stephen denies putting him up to it.

Upset with the way The Intersect has ruined his life, Chuck tears through the documents left to him by Orion to piece together what he was supposed to do to free himself of the information. Stephen interrupts to tell him he didn't want Chuck to ruin his own career just for him, and if he wants to work for Roark, it's okay with him. As he leaves, Chuck notices that the layout of Roark's offices matches the diagram in Orion's documents. He realizes that Roark is building a full-scale Intersect system for Fulcrum, but Casey and Sarah don't believe him, as he didn't flash, merely deduced. He takes it upon himself to infiltrate the office to investigate after tranquilizing Casey three times when he tries to stop him.

Chuck breaks into Roark's office, but before he can get far, has to take cover when his father barges in demanding to speak to Roark and set things right for his son. Roark, over the radio, tells the Fulcrum agent Chuck flashed on earlier that he'll deal with Stephen in private. After the agent punches Stephen in the gut, Chuck bursts from cover and starts shooting with his tranquilizer guns. Roark's security stare at him for a moment before they all collapse. Chuck tries to get his father to leave when they encounter Vincent, who tells them it's good to see them both again. Stephen admits to Chuck that he's not who he thinks he is either. He then takes control of the security door with a wrist-mounted computer and uses it to incapacitate Vincent before revealing the truth to Chuck: He is Orion. He left Chuck and Ellie to protect them once he realized what the government wanted the Intersect for. He also knew that there were others who wanted it just as badly but never imagined that it would find Chuck. That's why he came back and allowed Sarah to find him.

Stephen explains that he's faked his death many times, including the incident with the Predator drone. Chuck then realized that his father wanted him to flash on his schematics and break in and asks why he didn't say who he was. Stephen asks would his own son have trusted him after ten years. He believes that he can remove the Intersect from Chuck's head. He then tells his son to punch in the code to the door. Chuck insists that unless the data is in his head, he can't flash. His father promises that he can, being the lead designer of the Intersect. Chuck then flashes and punches in the code.


They come into the heart of Roark's complex where they find the nearly complete Fulcrum Intersect. Stephen prepares to use it to remove the data from Chuck's brain, but they are interrupted by Roark and Vincent. Roark is about to have Chuck killed when Stephen steps in, telling Roark that Chuck is his son, and promises to help as long as Chuck is allowed to walk away. Roark agrees and lets Chuck leave while Stephen is taken to a helicopter. Just before the door shuts between them Casey and Sarah arrive, and Stephen tells him he was wrong when he told him not to trust his handlers.

Back at Castle, Beckman makes clear the consequences of Roark escaping both with the Intersect and Orion but tells them that she has their best men on it. Chuck stands up to Beckman and tells her that his team are their best and demands to be part of the effort to rescue his father. Beckman relents when Casey sides with Chuck but warns him not to allow his personal feelings to get in the way.

Back at home, Ellie is heartbroken, thinking that their father has left them again, but Chuck tells her not to give up on him. The end scenes show Stephen working on the Fulcrum Intersect.

Guest Stars[]


  • When Ellie reacts to seeing her dad for the first time in years, Stephen says "Oh, boy", a reference to the TV series Quantum Leap, wherein Scott Bakula's character, Sam Beckett, established "Oh, boy" as his catch phrase said whenever confronted by a new and/or difficult situation.


Stephen: He was always a genius, this one.
Chuck: Well, not like you.
Stephen: You're right. [to Sarah] He was smarter.


Stephen: Oh Boy!


Chuck: [pointing a gun at Casey] I know what I'm doing.
Casey: You have no idea. You're entering a world of pain, Chuck.
Chuck: I want this Intersect out of my head. Are you going to help me or not?
Casey: You gotta be... is that a tranq gun? You don't even have the common courtesy to threaten me with an actual firearm!


Chuck: I'm not who you think I am.
Stephen: I'm not who you think I am either.


  • Daddy's Gone by Glasvegas
  • Around the Bend by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
  • Luisa's Bones by Crooked Fingers
  • Highschool Hoodlums by The Datsuns

previous: Chuck Versus the Broken Heart Chuck vs. the Dream Job next: Chuck Versus the First Kill
Season Two
Season Two

Chuck Versus the First DateChuck Versus the SeductionChuck Versus the Break-UpChuck Versus the CougarsChuck Versus Tom SawyerChuck Versus the ExChuck Versus the Fat LadyChuck Versus the GravitronChuck Versus the SenseiChuck Versus the DeLoreanChuck Versus Santa ClausChuck Versus the Third DimensionChuck Versus the SuburbsChuck Versus the Best FriendChuck Versus the BeefcakeChuck Versus the Lethal WeaponChuck Versus the PredatorChuck Versus the Broken HeartChuck Versus the Dream JobChuck Versus the First KillChuck Versus the ColonelChuck Versus the Ring

See Also: Season One EpisodesSeason Two EpisodesSeason Three EpisodesAll Episodes

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