Chuck Wiki
Chuck Versus the Fear of Death
Season 04, Episode 08
Air Date November 15, 2010
Writer Nicholas Wootton
Director Robert Duncan McNeill
Previous Chuck Versus the First Fight
Next Chuck Versus Phase Three
"I haven't been on a mission in a month. I wake up with my trigger finger twitching. It's itchy. Literally. It itches."

Chuck Versus the Fear of Death is the eighth episode in the fourth season of Chuck, which aired on November 15th, 2010.


Afraid that after his mom used the Portable device on him, suppressing the Intersect, it is driving a wedge between him and Sarah, Chuck resolves to prove himself by going on a dangerous mission with the overeager Agent Jim Rye (guest star Rob Riggle) in attempt to regain his access to the Intersect.

Meanwhile, Morgan and Casey scramble as the “Buy Morons” attempt to uncover the true identity of Greta (guest star Summer Glau).

Full Story[]

After his mother suppressed the Intersect with a Portable device, Mary Bartowski and Alexei Volkoff were spotted by Interpol in Istanbul. General Beckman sends agent Sarah Walker after them, but she leaves Colonel Casey with Chuck in Burbank, as Chuck undergoes a month of unsuccessful tests in an attempt to re-access the Intersect. Sarah returns with no leads on Mary and Volkoff. On top of that, Casey is incredibly tense and jittery because he hasn't been on a mission in over a month and his trigger finger is actually itchy.

Agent Jim Rye is brought into repair Chuck's access to the Intersect using various unorthodox methods. His theory is that fear of death will allow Chuck to access the Intersect in desperation. Chuck does flash several times, but it's always covered in static, so the information never gets to his consciousness.


Carmichael and Rye

After several failed attempts of scaring Chuck, Chuck and Rye are sent on a dangerous mission to Gstaad, Switzerland to acquire an unusual diamond at an auction, which is being sold by a Belgian, Adelbert de Smet (Richard Chamberlain). Various spies and killers are also planning to purchase the diamond. Chuck bids on the diamond, but he is held at gunpoint to stop him advancing his bid. As the buyer waits for his money to be wired in to complete the transaction, Chuck and Rye plan to steal the diamond. They make their way into metal room that Chuck thinks is the vault, and the door closes and locks behind them.

Rye tells Chuck he needs to flash in order to open the actual vault. Chuck comments that he doesn't exactly feel fear at that moment, but the security measures are suddenly activated. The metal room they are in has two large fans on the side walls and they start pumping in cold air rapidly. Rye tells him that the room should drop to -150°C within 30 seconds. Chuck flashes but it's nothing but static again. Rye keeps asking Chuck if he's flashing every couple of seconds but when it reaches -30°C he pushes Chuck out of the way and disables the security with the code. Chuck is aggravated when he realizes Rye knew the combination and codes the entire time. Rye says he is on a mission, and he came prepared.

After he inputs the combination, a bunch of slots open in the wall, each holding a large diamond. Rye comments that he wasn't prepared for that. To Rye's surprise, Chuck pulls out a loupe and tells him he took an online gemology class while they were on the plane. He picks up a diamond and studies it, before telling Rye it's a fake made of glass. However, after Rye takes the loupe he sees a microdot inside of it, which normally contain massive amounts of information. Rye tells Chuck to replace that diamond with the fake they brought but goes to look at another diamond and discovers that one is fake and has a microdot inside of it too. They take the diamond they replaced and leave.

Chuck tells Rye that his therapy isn't working. Several times he has feared for his life, but he still hasn't actually flashed. Rye tells him that he thinks it might be a deeper anxiety and that it could be because of a relationship. Chuck asks him what he's talking about, and Rye grabs his phone showing that he missed another call from Sarah and says their relationship is the problem.

Meanwhile in Burbank, Casey is sitting with Alex in a cafe and she tries to help him with his issues. Casey states that he made friends there and since there is the possibility of the team being split apart, he doesn't want to have to deal with that situation. Alex points out that he's going to lose his friends anyway since he's pushing them away already.

Back to Chuck and Rye, while Rye uploads the microdot image to Castle, Chuck wants him to clarify how his relationship with Sarah is the problem. Rye tells him that he always tries to contact Sarah before he flashes. It makes him feel safe so he's not really pushing himself the way he should be in order to be a spy.

They check in with General Beckman, Sarah and Casey. Sarah tells them that the microdot shows some images that look like CIA files. General Beckman orders Chuck and Rye to retrieve the rest of the diamonds. Sarah requests to join them, but due to Rye's conversation with him earlier, Chuck says he and Rye can do it alone. Sarah and Chuck argue in front of everyone. Chuck tells her he can handle the situation because he's a spy. Sarah snaps back that he's not a spy right now. General Beckman states that they need the proper team and tells Sarah to go to Gstaad.

During Sarah's flight, Chuck and Rye watch the security cameras and discover the Belgian has found out about their visit to the vault and the fake they planted is missing the microdot. The Belgian tells one of his men to collect the rest of the diamonds and meet him at the gondola. Rye states it's the perfect place for them to go because there's no escape and Chuck will have to Flash. Chuck states that Sarah's plane is almost there, and Rye tells him that they'll lose him if they wait for her. He asks Chuck if he wants to be a hero and Chuck agrees to go arrest the Belgian.

While Chuck and Rye enter a cable car with the Belgian and his henchman, Casey calls Sarah, who is now in a car, to tell her that the microdots contain information identifying Chuck as the Intersect, which means the Belgian knows who he is. Sarah tries to call Chuck and tell him, but Rye takes the phone and hangs up on her. The Belgian tells Chuck his head is worth more than anything on the microdots. Chuck partially flashes seeing a few battle moves and tells Rye he sort of flashed, but he's not sure. They begin battling in the cable car. Sarah accelerates the car she's driving to get to him faster.

Chuck falls out of the car and, hanging by his fingers, calls on Rye to help him up. Having apparently defeated the Belgian and his men, Rye refuses, and orders Chuck to flash and pull himself up. While demanding Chuck be a "real spy" like him. Rye is shot by the Belgian, and he falls to his death. The Belgian pulls Chuck up and takes him captive. Sarah gets a call from Chuck, but it turns out to be the Belgian warning her. He tells her that if she chases them down, he'll kill Agent Carmichael and hangs up on her.

Sarah, now back in Burbank, requests the general approve an immediate mobilization for a rescue. General Beckman says no because they don't know where they are. She tells them that they put a "Code Red" out to every agency on the planet and the moment they find his whereabouts, that's when she'll approve a mobilization team. Beckman orders Casey to look for Chuck and the Belgian and tells Sarah to go home and rest. Casey tells her that Chuck's smart and he'll be alright. However, Sarah feels guilty because she knows he did it because of what she said about him not being a spy, and he wanted to prove her wrong.

While Sarah is looking around their bedroom, Chuck is shown strapped to a chair, struggling to get out. The Belgian approaches and Chuck asks him what he wants. The Belgian tells him "I want the Intersect."

In their bedroom, Sarah starts packing. Casey appears in the doorway to the room with Morgan right behind him. Casey asks what she's doing, and Sarah tells them she's going to find Chuck. Casey tells her that they'll all go together, and Morgan says they'll find him wherever he is and bring him home.

The Belgian prepares to torture Chuck for information about the Intersect. Although Chuck tells him that it's gone, the Belgian disbelieves him telling Chuck he's not a fool. He pulls out a long needle and tells Chuck that if he resists it'll be more painful. The Belgian states that when Chuck talks, the torture can end.


Greta irritated

Meanwhile, Jeff and Lester have noticed the string of new employees, all with the name "Greta". The current Greta (Summer Glau), a CIA assassin, seemingly disappears from sight and reappears unexpectedly, drawing suspicion from the two. When they begin stalking her, Greta becomes annoyed with them and complains to Morgan. She requests that he stop them from prying and threats to take care of them herself if he doesn't. Morgan goes to Casey for help, who initially refuses. But after a talk with Alex, Casey returns to the Buy More, just as Jeff and Lester lure Greta to the storage cage, and she threatens them. Casey covers with a story that Greta has been stealing, ending the duo's investigation. Greta then packs up, complaining that the operation at the Buy More is too unprofessional and expresses disappointment with Casey. Casey retorts that Team Bartowski is the finest spy team he has ever served on, before sending her on her way.

Guest Stars[]


  • The Swiss chalet is called "Bösewicht Berghütte", which is German for "villain chalet".
  • Guest star Richard Chamberlain originated the role of Jason Bourne, in the 1988 TV movie, The Bourne Identity.
  • Jeff is seen holding a toothbrush with the handle end sharpened to a point. Such makeshift stabbing instruments are used in prison and known as shivs.
  • Chuck references the chorus of an Olivia Newton-John song when, in response to Rye's explanation of the tests he's going to run, he responds "Let's get physical."
  • This episode is possibly the only time Chuck is actually truly angry with Sarah, after she says, in effect, that without the Intersect he isn't a real spy.
  • Casey's line to Greta, "I don't know you've worked with before, or what crew you were on," is an in-joke, referencing Adam Baldwin and Summer Glau's series, Firefly.

Deleted scenes[]

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

  • Rye convinces Chuck to go after the Belgian before Sarah can make it to Gstaad.


Rye: Amazing work, Agent Carmichael! You've got the stones of a bull!


Chuck: I've never been a spy without the Intersect, and I quite like being a spy. Doing great things, doing them with you. I want that back.
Sarah: You don't need the Intersect to do great things, you're great on your own.
Chuck: But am I a spy?
Sarah: Yes! Yes, but you're Chuck Bartowski, and you do that all on your own.


Casey: He's a big boy, Walker.
Sarah: Yeah, Chuck's never been on a mission without the Intersect. Tell me honestly, do you think if things go wrong, he can handle himself?
Casey: I don't know. But I know he'll try.
Sarah: Which is exactly what worries me.


  • “Zero Zero” by Operator Please
  • “Perfect Day” by The Constellations
  • “Towards The Sun” by Alexi Murdoch
  • “Hiding Place” by Aushua