Chuck Versus the Sandworm
Season 01, Episode 06
Air Date October 29, 2007
Writer Phil Klemmer
Director Robert Duncan McNeill
Previous "Chuck Versus the Sizzling Shrimp"
Next "Chuck Versus the Alma Mater"
" FYI, you're kind of acting like a murderer."

Chuck Versus the Sandworm is the sixth episode of Season One of Chuck. It aired on October 29, 2007, as part of a Halloween special.


Chuck encounters CIA runaway asset Laszlo Mahnovski, who tells him not to trust his government handlers; Sarah and Casey.

Meanwhile, Morgan tries grow up when a frustrated Chuck loses his temper with him.

Full StoryEdit

As the episode begins, a secret bunker out in the desert explodes and a disheveled young man fights his way past an armed agent to escape.

In Burbank, Chuck is approached by Big Mike regarding the pending interviews for the store's Assistant Manager position. A man from corporate will be interviewing Chuck and Harry Tang for the position, and if the HR rep likes him, the job is his. Mike also warns Chuck that Morgan is a liability to him and will eventually drag him down. As if to prove the point, Morgan has gone AWOL during his double-shift at the Buy More, so Big Mike sends Chuck to track him down. Chuck eventually finds him playing video games at Playland Arcade, and while there, Chuck flashes on Morgan's opponent, Laszlo Mahnovski. Chuck tries warning Morgan that his opponent is dangerous, but Morgan doesn't take him seriously. Laszlo recognizes Chuck's watch, something he designed for the CIA agent, and runs away from Chuck, while Morgan thinks he's giving up on the competition. Chuck tries to follow Laszlo, but Laszlo ambushes Chuck and demands to know how he found him, and if anyone else knows that he is there. He then tells Chuck that he knows that he's CIA because he designed the watch he's wearing. Laszlo then runs away.

When Chuck returns home, Ellie and Awesome tell him that Sarah is waiting in his room for him. Awesome makes assumptions, and smilingly says, "Get in there, slugger."

Chuck asks Sarah about Laszlo, and she confirms she gave the intel to the General and they're looking into the situation. Chuck than asks Sarah to stay awhile in the room because Awesome thinks he's "getting lucky", and it would be awkwardd if she leaves right away. She agrees, and as they sit on the bed together, Chuck asks why was she waiting in his room in the first place. Sarah then gives him a picture of them dressed as Han Solo and Princess Leia at Comic-Con. Chuck thinks that it looks great, but he points out that they've never actually been to Comic-Con. He wistfully comments that they actually look like a real couple. Sarah replies that they're a different sort of a couple.

The next morning Casey angrily confronts Chuck about not being contacted when Sarah was contacted about the information about Laszlo. During a briefing, Beckman confirms that Laszlo is a government technology wizard who recently escaped from the team handling him, and is believed to be highly dangerous. Laszlo tracks Chuck to the Buy More and claims he was framed for murdering his handlers. Chuck realizes that Laszlo's situation mirrors what Chuck's might be, so he begins to sympathize and trust the rogue asset and takes him to get something to eat. Laszlo reveals he was recruited at the pier where Chuck first identified him when he was eleven, and that he was responsible for any technology the government needed, including Chuck's watch. Laszlo is apparently so sheltered he doesn't seem to understand the reference Chuck makes to him being like Q. Laszlo then warns him he shouldn't trust his own handlers, for proof he suggest Chuck sweep his room for bugs.

Chuck returns home to find that, as Laszlo predicted, his home has been bugged, even the picture Sarah gave him. Chuck angrily confronts Casey, who acknowledges the bugs are there for Chuck's protection, and it was driving him crazy; he shows Chuck the recording he made of how he and Morgan were chatting for four hours on what sandwich they would take if stranded on a desert island. When Casey asks how he knew, Chuck admits to having spoken with Laszlo. Chuck returns home to find Laszlo in his room, and despite Chuck's continued protests that his handlers can help, the rogue doesn't believe him. He says that if the government had gone as far as framing him for murder and asks for a place to hide for just one night. Chuck agrees to hide Laszlo at the Buy More, where they watch A View to a Kill, as Laszlo says he has never seen a Bond movie. Laszlo smashes Chuck's watch, and tells him to turn off his phone so that his handlers can't track him. At the end of the movie, Laszlo refutes Chuck's statement that Max Zorin is the villian, as he relates to his being the subject of government experimentation. He then reveals that he designed the Home Theater room components and that it's capable of tapping into military computers. Laszlo upgrades a nuclear-armed B-2 bomber to active status and sends it to bomb San Francisco, but relents when a freaked out Chuck suggests he might enjoy watching Goldfinger instead.

Meanwhile, Sarah is contacted by Agent Ben Katz, Laszlo's chief handler, who warns her that Laszlo is psychotic and dangerous and may be building a bomb. She leaves Chuck a voicemail warning him to get to his car and stay there, but Laszlo is already there and takes control of the Herder. After a short chase with Casey he ejects Chuck from the vehicle. At home, Chuck apologizes to Sarah for not trusting her. She notes he threw away the faked picture of them together.

The Herder's tracking device reactivates, but when Sarah and Casey locate it, they discover that Laszlo had removed it and thrown in on to another vehicle. Chuck flashes on a drawing Laszlo gave him and realizes that he intends to blow up the pier. Chuck arrives in time for Laszlo to activate the Herder's amplified self-destruct device and begins to taunt Chuck on which wire to cut. When Laszlo makes a reference to Goldfinger- a film Laszlo claimed to have never seen - Chuck realizes the asset had been lying to him all along, so ignores Laszlo's suggestion to cut the red wire, and cuts the green instead. The bomb is disarmed, and Laszlo is taken into custody.

Buy More and Family Edit

Mystery Crisper

Morgan's claim to fame

Morgan's antics at the Buy More include a game called the "Mystery Crisper," an employee game where someone eats spoiled leftovers from the break room fridge's vegetable crisper while the rest of the team bets on if the challenger will eat it, which Morgan universally wins. When Morgan risks a sexual harassment suit by showing two teenagers a woman's "whale tail" using a camcorder hooked to the video wall, a frustrated Chuck sharply warns him he needs to grow up.

A dejected Morgan talks with Awesome, who discusses the finer points of "being a man," including getting Morgan to tuck in his shirt and neaten up his hair. However, when Morgan goes to work the next day with combed hair, and in a pressed shirt, tie, and sweater-vest, since it is Halloween and everyone assumes he is in a costume. Morgan rebuffs Chuck when he tries to apologize for chewing him out the day before. Chuck leaves the store when he flashes on Laszlo's plans, even though he is scheduled to be interviewing for the assistant manager's position that day. Morgan decides to intervene on Chuck's behalf and interview with the HR manager, Mr. Mercer, for him, although the job is given to Harry Tang. That night at their Halloween party Chuck returns home from the mission and he apologizes again, and insists Morgan take the "head" of their popular Sand worm costume.

At the party, Sarah arrives dressed in a Princess Leia slave costume. She wants Chuck to have something of them that's real, so she takes a picture of them both together. When Morgan later joins Chuck in his room and asks what were they doing, Chuck purposely talks about sandwiches to irritate Casey who is listening in.

Nerd Notes Edit

  • Sarah's costume is based on the slave girl outfit Princess Leia wore when she was captured by Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi (1983).
  • The costume worn by Chuck Bartowski and Morgan Grimes is based on the sand worms of Arrakis which are featured in David Lynch's Dune (1984)adapted from the Frank Herbert novel of the same name.
  • The end credits of A View to a Kill featured in this episode are not the real end credits to the film. Instead of footage of the Golden Gate Bridge and Duran Duran's title song playing as the credits roll, a black screen with standard rolling credits accompanied by generic spy music is featured.
  • When Chuck cuts the wire on the Herder's self-destruct, the timer stops at 7 seconds. This echoes the scene in Goldfinger when Bond disarms a bomb set to explode inside Fort Knox, which also stops at 7 seconds. However the Herder's timer has an extra digit, making the time read 00:07 rather than 0:07 (Double-Oh 7). The film Goldfinger was discussed on several occasions leading up to this scene.
  • The end scene when Chuck runs home while Finlay Quaye's "Dice" plays, is a take off of the end sequence from The O.C. episode "The Countdown." The O.C. was the debut series of Chuck producer Josh Schwartz.
  • After Sarah gives Chuck a photo of them together at Comic-Con, Chuck says that they never actually went to Comic-Con together. Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski, however, actually attended San Diego Comic Con International in July 2007 as part of the promotion for the show.
  • Casey's "What's he gonna do? Hurt me with his mind?" is a nod towards the TV series Firefly in which which Baldwin appeared. His character was told by Summer Glau's character, River Tam, "I can kill you with my brain".
  • This is the first of several situations in which 'Chuckalikes' are seen.
  • At the Buy More, the corporate rep says to Morgan, "Hey you in the Gordon Gecko costume." This is a reference to the movie Wall Street.
  • At the Buy More, Tang says "I will not be ignored." This is a quote from the movie Fatal Attraction.
  • In this episode we learn that Tang's full name is Harry Tiberius Tang. Tiberius is the middle name of Captain James T. Kirk from the original Star Trek.
  • In the Home Theatre Room, Lazlo says: "Would you like to play a nice game of Thermonuclear War?" This is a reference to the movie War Games.
  • Harry Tang describes his management style as "totalitarian."


Chuck [to Morgan]: Well, I'm sorry to go changing on you, buddy, but if you hadn't noticed, we are now, chronologically speaking, adults, so unless you want to work retail for the rest of your life, and by the way, drag me down with you in the process, I would suggest you grow up.


Casey: What do I have to do to get timely intel out of you, Bartowski?
Chuck: Look, I briefed Sarah last night alright?
Casey: [sarcastically] Oh, I bet you did, slugger.
Chuck: I thought we're all suppose to be part of the same team here, huh, Team Chuck?
Casey: We are, but I'm starting to feel like the guy that always gets picked last, and I don't like feeling like Team Chuck's little fat kid!

Music Edit

  • “All Right Now” by Bad Company
  • “The Weights of the World” by The Editors
  • “Dice” by Finley Quaye
  • “It Takes Two” by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock
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