Chuck Wiki
Chuck Versus the HackOff
Season 5, Episode 5
Air Date December 9, 2011
Writer Craig DiGregorio
Director Zachary Levi
Previous Chuck Versus the Business Trip
Next Chuck Versus the Curse
"I've been out of the game for a while, but they used to call me The Piranha."

Chuck Versus the HackOff is the fifth episode on the final season of Chuck, which aired on December 9th, 2011.


A mission to track down a computer super virus leads Chuck to return to his roots as a hacker, and to call on his biggest competition, Gertrude Verbanski, for help.

Meanwhile, a new Buy More employee (Danny Pudi) seems slated to become the new Lester.

Full Story[]

Casey is locked up in the county jail on a murder charge, though he tells Lester - incarcerated on an attempted murder charge - that he's in for unpaid parking tickets. Chuck and Sarah offer to break him out but he refuses. Chuck begins having doubts about having started Carmichael Industries in the first place, though Sarah reassures him. Then without warning, they are both tranquilized. When they wake up, they are facing Decker, who wants them to locate the source of a dangerous computer virus, known as the Omen virus, that can wipe out everything on the Internet, in exchange for Casey's release.

As two of Decker's men approach Casey, he is drawn into a broom closet by Verbanski, disguised as a guard. After they have a conjugal visit, Casey suggests that Verbanski work with his team, saying he hates that they're a man down.

At Castle, Chuck begins his search for the virus and brings out a bottle of Rombauer Chardonnay, which Morgan says was part of Chuck's routine (called "The Routine") from his early days as a hacker, when Chuck was known as "Piranha". Chuck manages to decrypt the virus' code, identifying its designer: Colin Davis and then goes searching for his location. Morgan needs to leave to help Jeffster with something, so he tells Sarah to remind Chuck to eat because when he's "plugged in", he tends to forget.

Verbanski has located Castle, after having to threaten to beat up Morgan unless she is allowed in, and offers her skills to the team. Together, they infiltrate the compound where Davis might be, which might be a militia. Instead, they find a cult scenario that indulges in a nudist regimen. Chuck and Sarah reluctantly strip to go undercover, but their sudden appearance makes the leader suspicious and she alerts her guards. After finally getting some robes, they locate Davis, and Chuck spots a piece of tech around his neck, and assumes its the storage device holding the virus code. When they finally move, the guards are on to them, forcing Verbanski to snipe them. Sarah deals with the guards and group leader while Chuck chases Davis. Unfortunately, Davis swallows the chip, so Chuck tries using the Heimlich maneuver on him before Verbanski tranqs him.

Meanwhile, Decker's incarcerated hirelings hassle Casey, to the point where multiple inmates gang up on him. Luckily, Lester, who had installed internet and TV for all the inmates, demands that they let Casey go, or he'll pull the plug on their privileges.

At Castle, Chuck tries being nice to Davis, who admits that there is an activation device, a USB, being held by a hackers group known as the Collective. Verbanski, unwilling to wait, feeds Davis ipecac to make him throw up the chip.


The Piranha

Chuck goes in to the Collective as a hacker. The Collective leader decides to test his skills but threatens to kill him if he fails. While competing against the Collective's best hacker to siphon a penny out of the Federal Reserve, Chuck discreetly disables the on sight security systems for Sarah and Verbanski to enter. Verbanski admits to Sarah that she loves Casey, but can't stand to think about a normal life since being a spy is what she has known since she was 16. They then find the USB, and as soon as they get it, the competition is done. Chuck hadn't siphoned any money, but hacked into the Buy More to get the Collective flat-screen TVs. The Collective leader finds it a useless offering. But before he can shoot Chuck, Chuck's hack of their security turns off the lights, enabling him to escape.

The trio head for the rendezvous with Decker, though Verbanski is advised to make herself scarce. As soon as they hand the storage device over, Decker reveals that this was all a set-up and he never intended to go through with their deal. He points out that Chuck was in plain view of a surveillance camera with the Omen Virus in his possession, enough to get him on the most-wanted list. Furious, Verbanski, comes out of hiding and threatens Decker. He is not intimidated, as he plans on throwing her in with Team Bartowski. Defeated, the trio retreat to the Herder. Verbanski then reveals that she picked the virus off Decker and placed a bomb in his coat. It goes off, killing Decker. Aghast, Chuck orders the others in the car and they speed away.

Verbanski returns to the prison to inform Casey of the set up. Because she killed Decker, she'll have to make herself scarce for a while. However, partnered with Morgan, they help to break Casey out under the guise of a prison transfer. The Bartowskis ponder what Decker was intending by framing them. Chuck then tells Sarah that he has reconsidered quitting the spy life, they'll have to be the best spies ever to survive.


Meanwhile, Lester is in jail for attempting to poison Jeff. Jeff offers to drop all the charges if Lester refrains from any poisoning attempts in the future; he is refused. Morgan then gets an idea: using a video chat and hiring an Indian "Hinjew" to be the replacement Lester, who sings the Canadian national anthem very well, to make Lester jealous, and desirous of a return to normality.

Guest Stars[]


  • Casey saying, "I am the Law" in jail is a quote from the character of "Judge Dredd."
  • The Law is also a character from guest star Freddie Wong's YouTube series "Video Game High School" in which Zachary Levi also had a role.
  • Freddie Wong and Zachary Levi exchanged guest star duties, with Wong appearing in this episode, and Levi appearing in Wong's series, Video Game High School as Ace, a first-person shooter specialist.
  • When Verbanski and Morgan infiltrate the jail to break Casey out, Morgan transmits "Prisoner transfer for CB 11 section 38" over his radio, this is a direct reference to Star Wars: A New Hope when Chewbacca, Han, and Luke enter the Death Star Detention Center in an effort to break out Princess Leia and inform the guards that they have "Prisoner transfer from cell block 1138."
  • Verbanski and Morgan appear in uniforms with name tags Hogan and Penn, respectively, when breaking Casey out of jail.
  • Danny Pudi and Yvette Nicole Brown both play main characters on the series, Community. Brown was once romantically linked to Zachary Levi.
  • Morgan reveals to Sarah that during Chuck's hacker days, he was nicknamed the Piranha. When Morgan talks about how nerdy Chuck is when he's so absorbed in it, Sarah says his behavior is cute.


Chuck: All right, let's find us a virus, shall we?

Sarah: Uh, what is happening? Is that chardonnay?
Morgan: Wow, I haven't seen this in a long time. We used to call this routine "The Routine".
Sarah: That's very creative.
Morgan: Yeah, Chuck has quite a reputation as a hacker, you know? They used to call him The Piranha....when The Piranha got really into a decoding session, he could get a bit giddy.
Sarah: Yeah, it's kind of cute.
Morgan: Yeah, it's also super nerdy.
Sarah: It's definitely that, too.


  • Get Fresh with You - Teddybears feat. Laza Morgan
  • O, Canada - Danny Pudi
  • No Problem - Chase & Status
  • Love the Way You Walk Away - Blitzen Trapper